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.


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


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