Environmental pollution of chemical substances has become a significant health problem in developing countries. The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship of blood lead levels with pregnancy-induced hypertension. Subjects examined were 110 pregnant women, i.e. 55 hypertensive cases, aged 27±6 (range 17 to 40) years, and the same number of age and gravidity matched normotensive controls. They were at gestational ages of 37±2.5(range 30 to 41) weeks and the study was conducted within 24 hours after delivery. In the cases, blood lead levels were 5.7±2 (2.2 to 12.6) μg/dl (0.27±0.10, range 0.11 to 0.60 μmol/l), which were significantly higher than those of control group, i.e. 4.8±1.9 (1.9 to 10.6) μg/dl (0.23±0.09, range 0.09 to 0.51 μmol/l). Our findings support a potential role of low level lead exposure as a risk factor for pregnancy hypertension among women without occupationally exposure.
Developing countries, environmental pollution, health effects, lead, pregnancy, hypertension, preeclampsia