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Elevated blood lead levels and reading readiness at the start of kindergarten

To evaluate the relationship between blood lead levels (BLLs) and reading readiness at kindergarten entry, an early marker of school performance, in a diverse urban school population. METHODS: Kindergarten reading readiness test scores for children attending public kindergarten in Providence, Rhode Island, were linked to state health department records of blood lead testing by using individual identifiers. The study population (N = 3406) was 59% Hispanic. For each child, the geometric mean BLL was estimated by using all previously reported BLLs. Analyses were adjusted for gender, age, year enrolled, race, child language, and free/reduced lunch status as a measure of socioeconomic status. RESULTS: The median geometric mean BLL was 4.2 mcg/dL; 20% of children had at least 1 venous BLL [greater than or equal to] 10 mcg/dL. Compared with children with BLLs
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
Rhode Island

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