Blood lead concentrations and mortality in korean adults: The Korea national health and nutrition examination survey with mortality follow-up

Garam Byun, Sera Kim, Soo Yeon Kim, Dahyun Park, Min Jeong Shin, Hannah Oh, Jong Tae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previous studies have consistently reported an increase in mortality risk, even at low levels of blood lead. The average blood lead concentration in the Korean population has steadily decreased but is still higher than that of developed countries. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between mortality and blood lead concentrations for adults in Korea. We used the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2008–2013) linked Cause of Death data, which are followed by 2018. A total of 7308 subjects who aged over 30 at the baseline examination were included in the analyses. Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the hazard ratios of mortality from non-accidental causes and cancer mortality. The estimated hazard ratios (95% CI) for comparison of the second and third tertile group with the lowest tertile group were 2.01 (1.20, 3.40) and 1.91 (1.13, 3.23) for non-accidental mortality and 3.42 (95% CI: 1.65, 7.08) and 2.27 (95% CI: 1.09, 4.70) for cancer mortality, respectively. The dose–response relationship also showed significant increase in the risk of mortality at blood lead level between 1.5 and 6.0 µg/dL. Our findings suggest that potent policies to lower lead exposure are required for the general Korean population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6898
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep 2

Keywords

  • Blood lead
  • Cancer
  • KNHANES
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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