Association between blood lead levels and blood pressure in American adults: results from NHANES 1999–2016

Simisola O. Teye, Jeff D. Yanosky, Yendelela Cuffee, Xingran Weng, Raffy Luquis, Elana Farace, Li Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to investigate the association between blood lead level (BLL) and hypertension in adults when lead exposure for the general population is low. The study used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2016. Participants aged 20 to 79 years were included in our study. Weighted multiple linear regression and logistic regression were conducted to test the association between BLL and systolic/diastolic blood pressure and hypertension status, respectively, while controlling for age, gender, race/ethnicity, body mass index, income level, and education. A total of 30,467 participants were included in this study. There was no association between BLL and hypertension status for the overall sample. Among those who were not taking antihypertensive medication, after adjusting for covariates, systolic blood pressure was positively correlated with BLL in non-Hispanic Whites (P = 0.004) and non-Hispanic Blacks (P = 0.0005), but not Hispanics (P = 0.07) nor Others (P = 0.37). The relationship between diastolic blood pressure and lead levels was also significant in non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks. This study showed that higher BLL was associated with higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure in some population groups, but not associated with hypertension status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45836-45843
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number36
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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