Volume 25, Issue 1 (5-2011)                   Med J Islam Repub Iran 2011 | Back to browse issues page

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Froutan H, Kashefi Zadeh A, Kalani M, Andrabi Y. Lead toxicity: a probable cause of abdominal pain in drug abusers. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2011; 25 (1) :16-20
URL: http://mjiri.iums.ac.ir/article-1-247-en.html
Professor Department of Gastroenterology, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Tehran; Iran , froutan@ams.ac.ir
Abstract:   (4726 Views)


  Background: Lead toxicity is caused by ingestion, inhalation, or contact with particles or vapors containing lead. It can present with nonspecific signs and symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and anemia. In this study, we have tried to find a relationship between lead poisoning and drug abuse.

  Methods: In a cross sectional study, drug addicts presenting with abdominal pain referring to GI center of

  Imam Khomeini hospital in 2008 were observed. Patients having occupational contact with lead were excluded from the study. Required data included age, sex, clinical findings, Para clinic results and blood lead level. Results were analyzed through SPSS-15 software.

  Results: 42 patients (all male) with average age of 46.9 ± 10.1 years were included in the study. Average

  blood lead level was 51.17±27.96µg/dl. 22 patients (52.6%) had lead toxicity. A significant relation was found between lead toxicity and mode of opium drug use however relation between lead toxicity and duration of addiction was not significant. Similarly, a meaningful relation was found between lead toxicity and abnormal liver function test, urine tests, ECG, presence of basophilic stippling and hyperuricemia.

  Conclusion: There seems to be a significant relation between opium drug abuse and lead toxicity. Further

  studies with more cases and ethnicities are needed.


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