Blood lead level in opium dependents and its association with anemia: A cross-sectional study from the capital of Iran

Behrooz Hashemi Domeneh, Nader Tavakoli, Najmeh Jafari


Background: Opium dependence is one of the most challenging health problems in the developing countries as well as Iran. Among several health problems due to opium dependence, there are limited reports indicating the presence of lead in opium. The aim of this study is to investigate the blood lead level (BLL) in oral and inhalational opium dependents and its association with anemia. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done among 86 opium dependent patients who were referred to fi ve large detoxification centers in Tehran city and 48 healthy individuals. BLL was assessed using the atomic absorption spectrometry technique. Multivariate
analysis of variance and binary logistic regression analysis were performed for statistical assessment using SPSS version 18 for
Windows. Results: The highest BLL was detected in oral opium dependent group (mean = 11.75, standard deviation (SD) = 6.06) in comparison to inhalational opium dependent group (mean = 7.07, SD = 3.61) and healthy control group (mean = 6.05, SD = 1.83).Anemia was detected in 38% of oral-opium dependent and 43% of inhalational-opium dependent group. Age (odds ratio (OR): 1.06,95% confi dence interval (CI): 1.03-1.09) and opium dependence (OR: 3.59, 95% CI: 1.69-7.59) were signifi cant predictors of anemia in these patients (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The results of this study confi rmed the higher BLL in opium dependents, especially with
an oral form of consumption.
Key words: Anemia, blood lead level, Iran, opium dependent

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