At high levels of exposure, lead is known to have many negative effects on the human body. Blood lead levels of less than 1.21 µmol/L are considered acceptable, but recent research indicates that even at those levels patients may be at increased risk for chronic kidney disease progression and cardiovascular mortality.
Researchers studied survey results for 6,153 patients aged 40 and older with no known kidney disease to determine whether blood lead levels within the range currently considered acceptable are associated with gout.
The researchers found that blood lead levels as low as approximately 0.06 µmol/L are associated with increased prevalence of gout, independent of other major risk factors.
The researchers suggest further refinement in national goals for prevention, detection, and removal of lead from the environment.