200866 Association between blood lead levels and consumption of wild game

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shahed Iqbal, PhD, MBBS , National Center for Environmental Health/Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, GA
Kennedy Chinaro, PhD , National Center for Environmental Health/Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, GA
Fuyuen Yip, PhD , National Center for Environmental Health/Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, GA
Stephen Pickard, MD , Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response/ Office of Director/ Career Field Epidemiology Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bismarck, ND
William D. Flanders, PhD , National Center for Environmental Health/ Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, GA
Background: Wild game hunting is a popular activity in many regions of the United States. Recently, presence of lead fragments in wild game meat, presumably from the bullets used for hunting, raised concerns about health risks from meat consumption. This study examined the association between blood lead levels (PbB) and wild game consumption.

Methods: We recruited 740 participants, aged 292 years, from six North Dakota cities. Blood samples were collected from 736 persons. Information on socio-demographic background, housing, lead exposure source, and types of wild game consumption (i.e., venison, other game such as elk, birds) was also collected. Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) were used to determine the association between PbB and wild game consumption.

Results: Most participants reported consuming wild game (80.8%) obtained from hunting (98.8%). The geometric mean PbB were 1.27μg/dl and 0.84μg/dl among persons who did and did not consume wild game, respectively. After adjusting for potential confounders, the average PbB among persons who consumed wild game was 0.30μg/dl (95% confidence interval: 0.160.44μg/dl) higher than that among persons who did not. For all game types, recent (<1 month) wild game consumption was associated with higher PbB. PbB was also higher among those who consumed a larger serving size (³2 oz vs. <2 oz); this association was significant for other game consumption only.

Conclusions: Participants who consumed wild game had higher PbB compared to those who did not consume wild game. Careful review of cleaning practices and monitoring of meat packing processes may mitigate this risk.

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess if there is an association between wild game consumption and blood lead levels. 2. Discuss how hunted wild game can be a potential source of blood lead.

Keywords: Lead, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a physician and have a PhD in Epidemiology. I have been involved in environmental epidemiological research since 2001 and publications in peer reviewed journal. I worked as a research analyst and a research scientist at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and currently working as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at CDC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.