Prospective Cohort Study of Lead Exposure and Electrocardiographic Conduction Disturbances in the Department of Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study
OBJECTIVES This study sought to clarify the possible associations between blood lead level and serum cholesterol and lipoprotein levels in subjects occupationally exposed to lead. METHODS Levels of blood lead, serum total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides in 56 male industrial employees who were exposed to lead were compared with those in 87 unexposed employees. RESULTS Mean blood lead levels were 42.3 (+/- 14.9) micrograms/dL in the exposed group and 2.7 (+/- 3.6) micrograms/dL in the nonexposed group. The exposed subjects had higher mean levels of total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. CONCLUSIONS Blood lead levels are positively associated with total and HDL cholesterol.