Research Article

Blood lead concentration, blood pressure, and renal function.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 06 October 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:872
  1. S J Pocock,
  2. A G Shaper,
  3. D Ashby,
  4. T Delves,
  5. T P Whitehead


    Blood lead concentrations were related to blood pressure and indicators of renal function in a clinical survey of 7735 middle aged men from 24 British towns. There was no overall evidence that blood lead concentrations were associated with systolic or diastolic blood pressure (r = +0.03 and +0.01, respectively). In the 74 men with a blood lead concentration of 1.8 mumol/l (37.3 micrograms/100 ml) or more there was some suggestion of increased hypertension, but this did not reach significance. Blood lead concentration did not have any relation with serum creatinine concentration. Moderate increases in blood lead concentration were associated with small increases in mean serum urate concentration and small decreases in mean serum urea concentration; these associations were both reduced when alcohol consumption was taken into account. There is no indication that exposure to lead at concentrations commonly encountered in British men is responsible for impaired renal function or increased blood pressure.