Objective: It is proposed that in some conditions such as pregnancy and osteoporosis where the bone turnover rate is high, there is mobilization of various minerals including lead (Pb) from bone to blood. This study aimed to determine if there were any differences in serum Pb levels among elderly osteopaenic patients, elderly osteoporotic persons and healthy controls.
Methods: Fifty-four elderly persons (26 men and 28 women) from the Amirkola Health and Ageing Project, Iran, were included in this study. The diagnosis of osteopaenia and osteoporosis was based on spine and femur bone mineral density (BMD) measurements. After blood sampling, serum Pb levels were analysed by the method of atomic absorption spectrophotometry.
Results: According to the BMD measurements, 19 persons had normal BMD, while 16 had osteopaenia and 19 suffered from osteoporosis. The differences in body mass index in these three groups were statistically significant (p < 0.001). The patients with osteoporosis had the highest levels of alkaline phosphatase and the highest rate of bone turnover. The mean ± standard deviation of the serum Pb levels in these groups were 236.8 ± 98.0, 270.0 ± 81.5 and 258.3 ± 57.5 μg/L, respectively, and the differences were not statistically significant (p = 0.467).
Conclusion: No statistically significant differences in serum Pb levels were observed in healthy controls compared with osteopaenic persons and osteoporotic persons. This suggests that mobilization of Pb from bone to blood in this population of elderly osteopaenic patients and elderly osteoporotic patients was similar to that in the healthy controls.