Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1048–1056 | Cite as

Changing Blood Lead Levels and Oxidative Stress with Duration of Residence Among Taiwan Immigrants

  • Wei-Te Wu
  • Chin-Ching Wu
  • Yu-Jen Lin
  • Chen-Yang Shen
  • Tsung-Yun Liu
  • Chun-Yuh Yang
  • Saou-Hsing Liou
  • Trong-Neng Wu
Original Paper


Immigrants lack appropriate health care access and other resources needed to reduce their exposure to preventable environmental health risks. Little is known about the impact of lead exposure and oxidative stress among immigrants. Thus, this study was to examine the differences between the blood lead levels (BLLs) and oxidative stress levels of immigrants and non-immigrants, and to investigate the determinants of increased BLLs or oxidative stress levels among immigrants. We collected demographic data of 239 immigrant women and 189 non-immigrant women who resettled in the central area of Taiwan. Each study participant provided blood samples for genotyping and for measuring blood metal levels and oxidative stress. Recent immigrants were at risk for elevated BLLs. Decreased BLLs, malondialdehyde (MDA), and increased blood selenium levels were significantly associated with duration of residence in Taiwan. Elevated BLLs and MDA in recent immigrants may serve as a warning sign for the health care system. The nation’s health will benefit from improved regulation of living environments, thereby improving the health of immigrants.


Blood lead levels (BLLs) Oxidative stress Immigrants Duration of residence 



This work was supported by the National Science Council, Taipei, Taiwan (NSC 97-2314-B-039-016-MY2). The authors thank all the study participants and WC Shih, MJ Hong, SJ Lin, and the staff from the Public Health Center in central Taiwan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei-Te Wu
    • 1
  • Chin-Ching Wu
    • 2
  • Yu-Jen Lin
    • 1
  • Chen-Yang Shen
    • 3
  • Tsung-Yun Liu
    • 4
  • Chun-Yuh Yang
    • 5
  • Saou-Hsing Liou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Trong-Neng Wu
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Environmental Health and Occupational MedicineNational Health Research InstitutesMiaoli CountyTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute of Biomedical SciencesAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health SciencesNational Yang Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Institute of Public HealthKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  6. 6.Graduate Institute of Biostatistics, College of Public HealthChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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