Blood Lead and Blood Pressure

Walter C. Hulon, MD. MPH; Elizabeth S. Lightfoot, MS; Donald R. Lynam, PhD
JAMA. 1985;254(4):505. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360040055015.
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To the Editor.—  The recent article on blood lead and blood pressure1 is written so unclearly that it is difficult to understand precisely how the authors meant to use the data.Immediately obvious to the reader is the fact that the Figure plots blood lead and diastolic blood pressure for subjects aged 12 to 74 years, while the results of the multiple regression analyses in Table 1 are only for subjects aged 21 to 74 years. The text in one section discusses the Figure and later refers to Tables 1 through 3; this inconsistency in the discussion of the data set makes it difficult to follow the article. Nevertheless, the Figure makes it appear that virtually everyone is normotensive, so there are apparently no adverse implications for cardiovascular health based on the "essentially linear" relationship between blood lead and blood pressure. Seemingly, the behavior of the data at extremely high


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