142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Blood lead level and blood pressure in young adult workers at small workshops

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 8:46 AM - 9:02 AM

Fahmy Charl Fahmy, Professor of Occupational Medicine , Head of Occupational Health Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
Ragaa El Gazzar, Professor of Occupational Biology , Department of Occupational Health, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
Kamal Hamed Noweir, Professor of Occupational Hygiene , Occupational Health, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
High blood pressure among young adults is presenting an emerging public health problem especially in developing countries. A large sector of them is employed in technical jobs such as small metal workshops, where lead is a commonly shared hazard. The anemic hypertensive effects of lead intoxication have been abundantly discussed; however, its influence on blood pressure of young workers is less clear. This study is designed to identify blood pressure pattern among young adult workers in relation to blood lead levels and some of its possible correlates such as hemoglobin, zinc and copper concentrations in blood. A cross-sectional study, including a randomly selected representative sample of apparently healthy young workers in the central collection of small maintenance workshops in Alexandria, is conducted. After ethical considerations, 260 male workers aged 19 – 29 years accepted to participate in the study. All participants were subjected to a predesigned questionnaire, clinical examination including standardized sitting blood pressure and anthropometric measurements. A venous blood sample was obtained for the required analyses. Occupational activities of the studied group involved welding, melting and metal works. Preliminary results showed that systolic blood pressure was significantly increasing by tertiles of blood lead levels even after consideration of other confounders. Trace elements mainly serum zinc-copper ratio showed negative correlation with systolic blood pressure. It seems that occupational metal intoxication is strongly associated with high blood pressure among young workers. Control strategies for exposures should be adequately inspected and implemented in small workshops with early detection of the affected workers to prevent hypertensive complications.

Learning Areas:

Basic medical science applied in public health
Chronic disease management and prevention
Occupational health and safety
Public health biology

Learning Objectives:
Identify pattern of blood pressure changes in relation to blood lead levels in exposed young adult workers and discuss its possible correlates in the setting of small workshops.

Keyword(s): Occupational Health and Safety, Hypertension

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working with research in the different areas of occupational cardiology and blood pressure changes related to lead intoxication and as a University Professor teaching occupational health physicians and professionals about occupational diseases in special settings such as small enterprises.
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.