A meta-analysis of blood lead levels in India and the attributable burden of disease

Ericson, Bret, Dowling, Russell, Dey, Subhojit, Caravanos, Jack, Mishra, Navya, Fisher, Samantha, Ramirez, Myla, Sharma, Promila, McCartor, Andrew, Guin, Pradeep, Taylor, Mark Patrick and Fuller, Richard (2018) A meta-analysis of blood lead levels in India and the attributable burden of disease. Environment International, 121. pp. 461-470. ISSN 01604120

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Multiple studies in India have found elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in target populations. However the data have not yet been evaluated to understand population-wide exposure levels. We used arithmetic mean blood lead data published from 2010 to 2018 on Indian populations to calculate the average BLLs for multiple subgroups. We then calculated the attributable disease burden in IQ decrement and Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). Our Pubmed search yielded 1066 articles. Of these, 31 studies representing the BLLs of 5472 people in 9 states met our study criteria. Evaluating these, we found a mean BLL of 6.86 μg/dL (95% CI: 4.38–9.35) in children and 7.52 μg/dL (95% CI: 5.28–9.76) in non-occupationally exposed adults. We calculated that these exposures resulted in 4.9 million DALYs (95% CI: 3.9–5.6) in the states we evaluated. Population-wide BLLs in India remain elevated despite regulatory action to eliminate leaded petrol, the most significant historical source. The estimated attributable disease burden is larger than previously calculated, particularly with regard to associated intellectual disability outcomes in children. Larger population-wide BLL studies are required to inform future calculations. Policy responses need to be developed to mitigate the worst exposures.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Blood | Contamination | DALYs | India | Lead | Meta-analysis
Subjects: Physical, Life and Health Sciences > Medicine
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Health (Social sciences)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
Depositing User: Mr Sombir Dahiya
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2021 11:51
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2022 09:16
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.08.047
Funders: United States Agency for International Development, European Commission
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/338


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