Serum levels of lead and copper in a group of Egyptian children with bronchial asthma
Background: Copper and lead are trace elements required for the activity of antioxidant enzymes and changes in their levels may lead to reduction in antioxidant activities in asthma.
Objective: Our study aims to investigate the serum levels of copper and lead in asthmatic children in correlation to disease severity to anticipate their role as oxidant defenders in this disease.
Methods: We enrolled 45 children who were divided into two groups: group 1 included 30 asthmatic children during disease quiescence and group 2 included 15 clinically healthy children matched for age and sex as a control group. Patients were subjected to: history taking, clinical examination, spirometry before and after bronchodilator therapy, complete blood counting, and measurement of serum levels of total IgE, copper and lead (in patients and controls).
Results: Patients’ group had significantly higher serum levels of lead (mean 8.2±3.1 μg/dl) and copper (122±31.5 μg/dl) in comparison to controls (mean 5.7±2.3 μg/dl and103.3±21.1 μg/dl respectively). Serum lead and copper levels were higher among patients with moderate persistent asthma than those with mild asthma. Serum total IgE levels correlated positively with serum lead levels among the asthmatic children. However, serum lead and copper levels did not correlate with any of the measured pulmonary function parameters tested.
Conclusion: Increased serum level of lead and copper were high in a group of children with bronchial asthma in children and this was more evident in moderate than mild cases.
Keywords: children; trace elements; lead; copper; spirometry; bronchial asthma; antioxidants; severity