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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


GONCALVES, Renata Moreira; GONCALVES, José Rubens  and  FORNES, Nélida Schmid. Relationship between lead levels in colostrum, dietary intake, and socioeconomic characteristics of puerperal women in Goiânia, Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.4, pp.227-233. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the levels of lead in human colostrum and investigate whether they are correlated with dietary intake and socioeconomic factors in puerperal women. METHOD: This cross-sectional study was carried out with 80 puerperal women from a maternity hospital in Goiânia, Brazil. Data were collected between July and December 2008. A questionnaire was used to collect socioeconomic and lifestyle information. A dietary intake frequency questionnaire was also applied. After that, colostrum samples were collected and analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectrometry to quantify lead levels. The correlation between lead levels, socioeconomic variables, and dietary intake was calculated. RESULTS: The mean concentration of lead in colostrum samples was 6.88 μg/L, and the median concentration was 4.65 μg/L. There was no association between socioeconomic aspects and lead levels. The intake of saturated fatty acids, eggs, pork meats, chicken, and chicken products (r = -0.26 and P = 0.020) was inversely correlated with the levels of lead in human colostrum, whereas the intake of squash (r = 0.26; P = 0.019) and eggplant (r = 0.27; P = 0.015) was positively correlated with the levels of lead. The correlation observed for cooked squash, eggs, pork and chicken meats, and chicken products was maintained after logistic regression adjustment. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of lead was detected in human colostrum in this sample, probably as a result of dietary exposure. In addition to a correlation between presence of lead and dietary intake, the present findings suggest that specific nutrients may result in increased or decreased levels of lead, without a direct relationship with socioeconomic factors.

Keywords : Lead; food consumption; colostrum; milk; human; toxicity; Brazil.

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