Plumbism--a mimicker of common childhood symptoms.

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TítuloPlumbism--a mimicker of common childhood symptoms.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Año de publicación2000
AutoresKalra, V., Gulati S., Chitralekha K. T., Pande P., Makhijani S. D., and Sharma C. S.
JournalIndian journal of pediatrics
Date Published2000 Feb
Publication Languageeng

Lead poisoning is a preventable entity that can affect almost every system of the body. Its toxic effects range from subtle common childhood symptoms to even death. In a prospective study forty six children with at least one symptom compatible with plumbism were enrolled after screening patients attending medical services at AIIMS. The work-up included a detailed clinical history and examination including intelligence quotient (IQ) and behaviour. Blood lead levels were estimated in all with due precautions. Their ages ranged from 2.5 to 18 years and M:F ratio was 2:1. The common symptoms included unexplained recurrent colic (39), anorexia (21), sporadic vomiting and constipation (13), pigmented gum lines (11), growth failure (11), history of pica (9) etc. None of the children had acceptable blood lead levels (< 10 micrograms/dl). Ninety three per cent children had levels > 20 micrograms/dl and 47.8% had > 45 micrograms/dl. Statistically significant correlation with blood lead levels was seen with most symptoms. Plumbism can mimic common childhood illnesses and should be investigated in children with a clinically compatible profile. Community awareness with regard to pica reduction may be an important preventive measure. This silent epidemic needs to be aggressively tackled by a multipronged approach.

Alternate JournalIndian J Pediatr