Low-level exposure to lead is associated with decreased kidney function, accordingto a recent study published online ahead of print in the American Journalof Kidney Diseases.

In a prospective population-based cohort, Florencia Harari, MD, PhD, ofSahlrenska University Hospital and University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleaguesfound that individuals with blood lead levels in quartiles 3 and 4 (median29 and 46 μg/L, respectively) experienced significantly greater decreases in estimatedglomerular filtration rate from baseline to follow-up (about 16 years later)than those with blood levels in quartile 1 (median 15 μg/L).

In a model adjusted for age, sex, smoking alcohol intake, and other potentialconfounders, individuals in the quartile 4 had a significant 49% increased risk ofchronic kidney disease compared with those in the quartiles 1–3 (reference), theinvestigators reported.

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