Relationship between increased Blood Lead and Pregnancy Hypertension in Women without Occupational Lead Exposure in Tehran, Iran.

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      The article presents the findings of a study that assessed the relationship between blood lead levels and pregnancy-induced hypertension. The study was conducted in 3 teaching hospitals in Tehran, Iran, from April 2001 to August 2001. During this period, the researchers surveyed 1,182 postpartum women who had delivered within the previous 24 hours. Blood samples were collected within 24 hours after delivery, and blood lead levels were measured. Blood lead concentrations were elevated significantly among the hypertensive women in the study group. This suggests a potential role for blood lead as a risk factor for hypertension during pregnancy among women without occupational lead exposure. Logistic regression analysis showed a significant relationship between natural logarithm of blood lead and hypertension. There were no significant correlations between natural logarithm of blood lead and systolic and diastolic blood pressures in the hypertensive group. Thus, the results suggested that hypertension during pregnancy might be induced by low levels of lead in blood. Inasmuch as there were no significant differences in blood lead levels or blood pressures between hypertensive subjects with and without proteinuria, it did not appear that hypertension was related to overt renal effects of lead.