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July2005 Vol.42 Issue:        2        Table of Contents
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Prevalence of Lead Toxicity Among Secondary School Students in Sohag City (Upper Egypt) and Its Impact on Cognitive Functions

Abdel Latif M. Osman1, Hamdy N. El-Tallawy2, Hossney A. Hassan3, Sherifa A. Hamed2, Khaled A. Mohamed4, Nabiel A. Hakeem1, Mohamed A. Moneim2
Departments of Neurology, El-Azhar University1, Neurology and Psychiatry2, Biochemistry3, Psychiatry4, Assiut University


Lead is an extremely toxic metal. Lead intoxication in children has been associated with cognitive impairments. This study was designed to determine prevalence rate of lead toxicity  among secondary school children in Sohag City (Upper Egypt), sources of lead toxicity and the impact of lead toxicity on cognitive function of studied student. The studied student (600) were recruited from three school, 200 student from Elaskaria school (main stream school) and 400 student from two technical school (200 from industry and 200 from Elzekhrofia). A control group will be selected from the same sample of studied school, who proved to have normal urinary lead level (< 50µg/L). All studied students were subjected to; body measurements, clinical evaluation, soft neurological signs, social level, psychometric tests, (WAIS, CASI and WMS) – urine sample for assessment of lead level. The study revealed that the prevalence rate of lead toxicity was 50.5% and the highest rate among studied schools was reported in Elzekhrofia school (62%). Sources of lead toxicity in our community were old houses (77.9%), presence of repair shops (60.8%), Garbage combustion 60.3%, (smoking (62.1%)… etc. Soft neurological signs were significant abnormal among student with toxic urinary lead level (> 80µg/L) in comparison to student with normal lead level (<50µg/L) except in one test (standing on one foot). Student with toxic urinary lead level (> 80µg/L) had inverse proportion with social level. There were statistically significant lower scores among students with pre clinical toxicity (>50-80µg/L) and toxic level than students with normal urinary lead (<50µg/L) in total, verbal and performance Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), in all Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) subitems and in all cognitive Abilities screening instrument (CASI) subitems.

(Egypt J. Neurol. Psychiat. Neurosurg., 2005, 42(2): 505-515).


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