Correlation between blood lead concentration and iron deficiency in Iranian children

  • M R Keramati
  • L Manavifar
  • Z Badiee
  • M H Sadeghian
  • H Farhangi
  • M B Mood


Background: Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common nutritional anaemia among children. Lead toxicity is a serious health threat, especially in developing countries due to environmental pollution. It was thus aimed to investigate correlation between blood lead concentration and iron deficiency in children of Mashhad, Iran. Materials and Methods: This cross sectional study was performed on children between 1 year and 10 years, in Imam Reza teaching hospital of Mashhad, Iran, in 2010. Indeed during complete blood count (CBC), we measured iron and total iron binding capacity (TIBC) by colorimetric methods, ferritin by radioimmune assay and blood lead concentration by atomic absorption method. Results were analysed by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) (version 11.5), using statistical tests including independent sample t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, Spearman’s test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Pearson’s or Spearman’s correlation coefficient. P value ≤ 0.05 was considered as a significant level. Results: We studied 223 cases including 98 control children and 125 patients. All children had lead intoxication. Mean (±SD) blood lead concentration in the control group was 57.1 ± 25.3 (ranged 20-212) μg/dl and in the patient group was 57 ± 20.4 (ranged 10.9-159) μg/dl with no significant difference (P value = 0.713). We also did not find any correlation between blood lead concentration and haemoglobin, ferritin, iron, TIBC, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), white blood cells (WBC) and platelets. Conclusion: Based on these results, no correlation was found between blood lead concentration and iron deficiency in the children. Because all children had lead intoxication, further studies in highly polluted and a comparison with a low polluted area are necessary to make a general conclusion.

Keywords: Anaemia, iron deficiency, lead


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2229-774X
print ISSN: 0300-1652