Elevated Blood-Lead Levels In Childhood May Be Linked To Lower IQ Later In Life

The Washington Post (3/28, Dennis) reports that research (3/28) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated kids “with elevated blood-lead levels at age 11 ended up as adults with lower cognitive function and lower-status occupations than their parents.”

TIME (3/28, Sifferlin) reports that for the study, investigators “followed 565 people in New Zealand who were part of a study of people born between 1972 and 1973.” Study participants “had their blood lead levels measured when they were 11 years old, and the researchers followed up with blood tests about decades later, when they were 38.”

Reuters (3/28, Rapaport) reports that study “participants with childhood blood lead levels above 10 micrograms/dl had average adult IQ test scores 4.25 points lower than their peers with lower blood lead levels.” The investigators, “after accounting for factors that can influence adult IQ and earnings such as childhood IQ and socioeconomic status as well as mothers’ IQ…still found that higher lead levels in childhood were” linked to “downward social mobility.”

Related Links:

— “Lead exposure alters the trajectory of children’s lives decades later, study finds,” Brady Dennis, Washington Post, March 28, 2017.

Posted in In The News.