Objectives. The recent redefinition of childhood lead poisoning by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention means that many more children are considered lead poisoned than previously. The primary purpose of this study was to determine how many 2-year-old children had lead levels of 10 µg/dL or more in a rural state.
Methods. Random samples of 334 children drawn from the birth certificate file and 350 children from Vermont Medicaid rosters submitted capillary blood specimens that were confirmed by venous tests if lead levels were 10 µg/dL or more.
Results. Participation rates were 63.9% in the birth certificate group and 66.4% in the Medicaid group. In the birth certificate sample, the percentages of children with confirmed lead levels 10 µg/dL or more, 15 µg/dL or more, and 20 µg/dL or more were 9.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.2-12.6), 2.7 (95% CI, 1.2-5.0), and 1.5 (95% CI, 0.5-3.4), respectively. In the Medicaid sample, the corresponding percentages were 14.9 (95% CI, 11.4-19.2), 5.1 (95% CI, 3.1-8.0), and 2.0 (95% CI, 0.8-4.1), respectively. The percentage of children in the state's most urban county with lead levels of 10 µg/dL or more was significantly less than that in the rest of the state in both samples.
Conclusions. The prevalence of elevated lead levels in 2-year-old children may be significant in rural states with old housing stock. Medicaid-enrolled children represent a readily identifiable high-risk group.
- Received July 18, 1994.
- Accepted October 11, 1994.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics