Occupational and Environmental Lead Exposure in Port Harcourt, Nigeria: Analysis of its association with renal function indices

Alasia DD, MBBCh, FWACP, Emem-Chioma PC, BSc, M.B.B.S, FMCP, Wokoma FS, MBBS, FWACP Nephrology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt

Available online Jul 13, 2018.

[ Original ] Volume 19, Issue 4, 2010, Pages 407-414


Background: In spite of the high risk of lead exposure in
Nigeria, there is a paucity of data on the occupational and
environmental burden of lead exposure and its impact on
human health especially its nephrotoxic effects. This
study aims to assess the degree of occupational and
environmental lead exposure in Port Harcourt Nigeria and
the relationship between lead exposure and indices of
renal function.
Methods: A cross sectional comparative study of 190
adult subjects with occupational lead exposure and 80
matched controls. Blood lead was used as the biomarker
of lead exposure. Serum urea, creatinine, uric acid, urine
albumin and glomerular filtration rate were the renal
function indices measured.
Results: Occupationally lead exposed subjects had
higher mean blood lead 50.37±24.58 ug/dl, than controls
41.40±26.85 ug/dl (p= 0.008). The mean values of serum
urea, creatinine and uric acid were significantly higher in
study subjects compared to controls 3.06±0.81 mmol/L
vs. 2.7±0.84 mmol/L (p = 0.002), 87.2±14.30 umol/L vs.
80.68±14.70 umol/L (p = 0.001) and 271.93±71.18
umol/L vs. 231.1±62.70 umol/L (p = 0.000) respectively.
Creatinine clearance was significantly lower in subjects
compared to controls 98.86±21.26 ml/min/1.72m2
vs.108.18±25.16 ml/min/1.72m2 (p = 0.002). Blood lead
correlated positively only with blood urea [r = .031, r2 =
.017, p = .031] and negatively [r = -.144, r2 = .021, p =
.018] with serum phosphate.
Conclusion: The level of environmental and
occupational lead exposure in Port Harcourt, Nigeria is
high, with occupational lead exposure increasing the risk
of lead toxicity and renal function impairment.


nephrotoxic effects,

October - December 2010

Volume 19 | Issue 4

Page Nos. 407-414

Online since Jul 13, 2018

Related Articles

Aetiological profile of nasal trauma in Ilorin North-Central Nigeria


Antiretroviral Drug Resistance- implications for HIV/AIDS reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing countries

Obiako OR BMedSc, MBBS, M.Sc,FWACP,FMCP, Murktar HM MBBS, FMCPath, cert. Reprod.HealthOgoina D MBBS, FWACP

Challenges if HIV Treatment in Resource-Poor Countries: A Review

*Obiako OR, B.Med.Sc, MBBS, M.SC, FMCP, FWACP **Muktar HM, MBBS, Cert. in Reproductive Health, FMCPath

Inguinal Hernia: The Quest for the Best Repair

Ismaila BO FWACS, Misauno MA FWACS, Ojo EO FMCS

View more