Journal List > Allergy Asthma Respir Dis > v.7(1) > 1125517

Allergy Asthma Respir Dis. 2019 Jan;7(1):37-43. Korean.
Published online Jan 30, 2019.  https://doi.org/10.4168/aard.2019.7.1.37
© 2019 The Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease; The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Association between lead exposure and increased risk of bronchial asthma in Korean adolescents
Sin Young Kang and Chang-Keun Kim
Asthma and Allergy Center, Department of Pediatrics, Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

Correspondence to: Chang-Keun Kim. Asthma and Allergy Center, Department of Pediatrics, Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, 1342 Dongil-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01757, Korea. Tel: +82-2-950-1663, Fax: +82-2-950-1662, Email: kimck@paik.ac.kr
Received Aug 11, 2018; Revised Oct 10, 2018; Accepted Oct 11, 2018.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).


Abstract

Purpose

Several studies have reported an association between lead exposure and increased risk of allergic sensitization and asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, An elevated blood lead level (BLL) is defined as a BLL of ≥5 µg/dL. However, no safe BLL has been identified, and it is controversial whether a BLL of <5 µg/dL affects the risk of asthma.

Methods

We examined asthma prevalences and BLLs using data from the 2010–2013 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), which was a cross-sectional survey of 1,478 adolescence (aged 10–19 years) throughout the country. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) (with 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for the prevalence of asthma in adolescence with elevated BLLs were calculated by complex samples multivariate logistic regression analysis. The presence of asthma was based on self-reported, physician-diagnosed asthma in the Health Interview Surveys.

Results

The mean of total BLLs was 1.33 µg/dL. Overall, 5.1% (n=71) of the subjects were physician diagnosed asthma. In the model controlling for population characteristics, the adjusted odds ratio for asthma per 1 µg/dL increase in blood lead was 1.94, 95% CI (1.06, 3.57), and stronger associations were observed among boys (adjusted OR, 2.31; 95% CI, [1.18, 4.51]). The group of BLL≥2 µg/dL was associated with an OR of 2.84 (95% CI, 1.06, 7.63) for asthma, after adjusting for potential confounding factors in boys.

Conclusion

Our results suggest an association between total BLLs and asthma in Korean adolescent boys, although confirmation is warranted in further prospective studies.

Keywords: Lead; Asthma; Allergic sensitization

Figures


Fig. 1
Predicted probability of asthma and observed asthma according to blood lead level (µg/dL). OR, odds ratio; CI, confidence interval.
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Tables


Table 3
Mean levels of blood lead levels according to participant general characteristics
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Table 4
Multivariable binary logistic regression OR (95% CI) of athma according to lead level by sex
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Table 5
Multivariable logistic regression odds ratio (95% CIs) of athma according to lead level (1, 1.5, 2 µg/dL) by sex
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