• Nataliya Sukhodolska Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University Lviv, Ukraine
Keywords: pregnancy, lead, cadmium, gestational complications


Introduction. Considering intensive chemical environmental pollution, health care is one of the priority problems in modern medicine. Nowadays, heavy metals, particularly lead and cadmium, which are classifi ed as global environmental pollutants, adversely affect public health. Even low concentrations of these metals and their compounds can accumulate and result in decrease of adaptive body reserves. Under such conditions, generative function is among the least protected and most susceptible ones. In this regard, the concept of reproductive health as a sensitive indicator of ecological problem was stated. The aim of this study was to evaluate lead and cadmium levels in women’s blood in uncomplicated and complicated pregnancy and to assess the signifi cance of their infl uence on the gestational process.

Materials and methods. Investigation of lead and cadmium content in the blood of 42 women with uncomplicated pregnancy and 50 women with gestation complicated by anemia (44.0 %) and threatened abortion (56.0 %) was carried out. Determination of metals was evaluated by inversion voltammetry method.

Results. An average concentration of lead in the blood of women with uncomplicated gestation corresponds to generally accepted levels. However, in 11.9 % of pregnant women, metal content was detected within 0.2 to 0.4 mg/l, which is rated as “carriage” and in 4.8 % of women, lead concentrations slightly exceeded the upper level of acceptable content (> 0.4 mg/l). Comparing the results with the data of the Center for Disease Control, physiologically acceptable level of lead (0.1 mg/l) was determined in 57.1 % of women with uncomplicated gestation. Exceeding of this level was detected in 42.9 % of pregnant women, which can cause hypertension in adults and leads to lower IQ, hearing, and growth in children. It is disturbing to determine the lead level above 0.45 mg/l in 11.1 % of women, which is too high and without timely medical aid is dangerous for children’s health. The average level of lead in complicated pregnancy was defi ned as “alertness” (0,2-0,4 мг/л) and was 2.4 times higher than in women with uncomplicated course of gestation. The highest concentration of metal was recorded in the blood of women with threatened miscarriage, which was by 154.0 % higher than in uncomplicated pregnancy. At the same time, lead level in women with anemia exceeded the index in physiological gestation by 95.2 %. In comparison with the data of the Center for Disease Control (USA), physiologically acceptable level of lead was determined only in 12.0 % of women with complicated gestation. In 88.0 % of women (in anemia – 86.3 %, threatened abortion – 89.2 %), exceeding of the maximal physiologically acceptable level is observed. Among them, in 63.6 % cases lead concentrations ranged within 0.2-0.44 mg/l, which is regarded as being high for children and “alarming” for adults. Potentially harmful level of lead was observed in 25.0 % of women. The level of cadmium in the blood of the women with physiological pregnancy corresponded to the known options for an average person (< 0.013 mg/l) and was slightly higher than recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (0.005 mg/l). If compared with the approximate reference level of cadmium in the adults’ blood, cadmium content was determined within 0.005-0.01 mg/l in 33.4 % of women with uncomplicated gestation, which is estimated as the level of “alertness”, and potentially harmful levels were found in 9.5 % of cases (> 0,01 мг/л). The average level of cadmium during complicated pregnancy exceeded acceptable level 3 times and 2.8 times the index in uncomplicated gestation. In 44.0 % of women, cadmium was determined in “alert” range, potentially harmful level was found in 40.0 %. The highest content of cadmium was recorded in threatened miscarriage which exceeded the index in physiological gestation 3.2 times. However, pregnant women with anemia had 2.4 times higher cadmium level than healthy ones.

Conclusions. Nowadays in ecological conditions with increased levels of abiotic substances, it is reasonable to implement detection of lead and cadmium contents into practical health care, especially in early gestation, as risk factors for development of gestational complications, which in its turn can protect the health of women and newborns.


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Sukhodolska N. LEAD AND CADMIUM AS RISK FACTORS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF GESTATIONAL COMPLICATIONS. Proc Shevchenko Sci Soc Med Sci [Internet]. 2016Nov.16 [cited 2021Feb.26];47(2):57-3. Available from: https://mspsss.org.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/32