Efforts to identify at-risk children for blood lead screening in pediatric clinics – Clark County, Nevada

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Background. Childhood lead poisoning continues to be a public health problem; however, lead screening rates remain low in many areas. Our objective is to increase screening in pediatric clinics, while testing a questionnaire for its predictability of elevated blood lead levels (BLLs). Methods. Participants were approached at pediatric clinics in Las Vegas, Nevada. A brief questionnaire assessed the child’s potential exposure to lead and a blood sample was collected from each child. Results. Of 564 children tested, 35 had detectable BLLs. Two questions from the questionnaire demonstrated significant differences in proportions (Fisher’s exact test: P < .05) of affirmative/negative responses, for the 35 participants with detectable BLLs.Conclusion. The questionnaire failed to identify reliable associations between detectable BLLs and affirmative responses, limiting its use as an in-office tool. More research is recommended to identify and alleviate barriers to childhood lead screening in the clinical setting and to develop more applicable risk assessment tools.


Childhood lead poisoning; Blood lead level; Pediatric clinics; Screening risk factors


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Research | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health


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