Relationship between increased blood lead and pregnancy hypertension in women without occupational lead exposure in Tehran, Iran

Archives of Environmental Health

Volume 2 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

This study was conducted to assess the relationship between blood lead levels and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Participants were 110 pregnant women, of whom 55 were hypertensive, 27 +/- 5.6 yr of age (mean +/- standard deviation) (range = 17-40 yr); the other 55 women were age- and gravidity-matched normotensive controls. Participants were selected on the basis of their medical history and the results of a questionnaire-based interview. Subjects were at gestational ages 37 +/- 2.5 wk (range = 30-41 wk) and were not occupationally exposed to lead. Blood samples were collected within 24 hr after delivery, and blood lead levels were measured. For the hypertensive cases, blood lead levels were 5.7 +/- 2 mu g/dl (range = 2.2-12.6 mu g/dl [0.27 +/- 0.10 mu mol/l; range = 0.11-0.60 mu mol/l]), which were significantly higher than those of the control group (i.e., 4.8 +/- 1.9 mu g/dl; range = 1.9-10.6 mu g/dl [0.23 +/- 0.09 mu mol/l; range = 0.09-0.51 mu mol/l]). There were no significant differences in blood lead concentrations among hypertensive subjects with proteinuria (n = 30) and those without proteinuria (n = 25). Results of this study indicated that low-level lead exposure may be a risk factor for pregnancy hypertension.