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Cognitive function during early childhood did not improve with declining blood lead concentrations

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Question Are declining blood lead concentrations associated with changes in cognitive function during childhood?


Cohort study with follow up from birth to 11–13 years of age.


Urban and rural communities surrounding a large lead smelter in Post Pirie, South Australia.


375 children born between 1979–82, and evaluated at 11–13 years of age.

Assessment of risk factors

Venous blood samples to assess lead concentrations were collected from the mother before birth, from the umbilical cord at birth, and from each child at age 6, 15, and 24 months and annually thereafter until age 7 years, and then again at age 11–13 years. At each blood sampling, information was obtained on a wide range …

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