Newswise — Even low levels of lead found in the blood during early childhood can adversely affect how the child’s cardiovascular system responds to stress and could possibly lead to hypertension later in life, according to a study from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego.
Lead exposure was associated with an increase in vascular resistance when the children worked on a stressful computer task. Vascular resistance is a measure of tension within the blood vessels. Increased vascular resistance may lead to hypertension if it continues over time.
The study also found that lead exposure was associated with a decrease in circulating aldosterone levels. Aldosterone is a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure.
The study, Lead exposure and cardiovascular dysregulation in children, was conducted by James A. MacKenzie, Brooks B. Gump, Kristen Roosa, Kestas Bendinskas and Amy Dumas of the State University of New York, Oswego; Robert Morgan of Oswego Family Physicians; and Patrick Parsons of the New York State Department of Health. The researchers will present their findings during the 122nd annual meeting of The American Physiological Society (www.the-aps.org/press). The meeting is part of the Experimental Biology 2009 conference, to take place April 18-22 in New Orleans.