Blood lead level in Chinese adults with and without coronary artery disease


Background: The Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy study found that edetate disodium (disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) chelation therapy significantly reduced the incidence of cardiac events in stable post-myocardial infarction patients, and a body of epidemiological data has shown that accumulation of biologically active metals, such as lead and cadmium, is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, limited studies have focused on the relationship between angiographically diagnosed coronary artery disease (CAD) and lead exposure. This study compared blood lead level (BLL) in Chinese patients with and without CAD.

Methods: In this prospective, observational study, 450 consecutive patients admitted to Beijing Anzhen Hospital with suspected CAD from November 1, 2018, to January 30, 2019, were enrolled. All patients underwent coronary angiography, and an experienced heart team calculated the SYNTAX scores (SXscore) for all available coronary angiograms. BLLs were determined with atomic absorption spectrophotometry and compared between patients with angiographically diagnosed CAD and those without CAD.

Results: In total, 343 (76%) patients had CAD, of whom 42% had low (0-22), 22% had intermediate (23-32), and 36% had high (≥ 33) SXscore. BLLs were 36.8 ± 16.95 μg/L in patients with CAD and 31.2 ± 15.75 μg/L in those without CAD (P = 0.003). When BLLs were categorized into three groups (low, middle, high), CAD prevalence increased with increasing BLLs (P < 0.05). In the multivariate regression model, BLLs were associated with CAD (odds ratio (OR): 1.023, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.008-1.039; P = 0.0017). OR in the high versus low BLL group was 2.36 (95% CI: 1.29-4.42,P = 0.003). Furthermore, BLLs were independently associated with intermediate and high SXscore (adjusted OR: 1.050, 95% CI: 1.036-1.066; P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: BLLs were significantly associated with angiographically diagnosed CAD. Furthermore, BLLs showed excellent predictive value for SXscore, especially for complex coronary artery lesions.

Cite As
Li SH, Zhang HJ, Li XD, et al. Blood lead level in Chinese adults with and without coronary artery disease. J Geriatr Cardiol. 2021;18(11):857-866. doi:10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2021.11.004
Journal of Geriatric Cardiology
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