Abstract
SERUM LEAD, CADMIUM AND MERCURY LEVELS IN NIGERIAN BATTERY REPAIR WORKERS: CORRELATIONS WITH PLASMA LIPIDS.

Okesina AB, Oparinde DP, Atiba AS, Adeyemi J, Daniel JT, Lawal A, Adegoke JAO

ABSTRACT

Background: Lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities play a major role in the pathogenesis and progression of atherosclerosis as well as other cardiovascular diseases. These have been associated with an increased blood lead, mercury and cadmium levels. This study was therefore designed to determine the association between chronic occupational exposure to lead, cadmium and mercury on plasma lipids. Subjects and Methods: Sixty battery repair workers who have been on the job for at least 5 years and sixty apparently healthy, age and sex matched controls were consecutively enrolled for the study. Serum was extracted from 6mls of venous blood collected from subjects and controls after an overnight fast. Demographic and anthropometric parameters were obtained using semi-structured questionnaires. Serum levels of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Total Cholesterol (T-Chol), Triglycerides (Tg) and High Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol (HDL-Chol) were measured using commercially prepared reagents manufactured by Randox Laboratories Limited, United Kingdom. Low Density Lipoprotein – Cholesterol (LDL-Chol) was calculated using Friedewald equation Results: The serum levels of Cd (0.36 ±0.11 μg/dl vs 0.25±0.05μg/dl), Pb (0.09±0.14μg/dl vs 0.03±0.01μg/dl) and Hg (0.06±0.05μg/dl vs 0.02±0.01μg/dl) were significantly higher among battery repair workers than control subjects, p<0.01 respectively. Furthermore, there was statistically significant increase in LDL-Chol (2.60±1.17mmol/L vs 1.73± 0.45 mmol/L), Total Cholesterol (4.35± 0.81 mmol/L vs 3.70 ±.38 mmol/L) and Triglyceride (0.63± 0.43 mmol/L vs 0.37± 0.22 mmol/L) with corresponding decrease in HDL-Chol (1.35±0.81 vs 1.67±0.33 mmol/L) among battery repair workers When compared with controls. Significant negative association was observed between HDL-Chol and Cd (r = -0.328, p<0.05) among battery repair workers. Conclusion: Increased serum levels of Cd, Pb and Hg among battery repair workers may potentially increase the risk of having dyslipidaemia and its associated complications.

Keywords: Battery repair workers, plasma lipids, Cadmium, Lead and Mercury.


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