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