Children Living In HUD Housing Had Lower Blood Lead Levels Than Those Not Receiving Housing Assistance Interview with:

Dr. Katherine Ahrens PhD Office of Population Affairs Rockville, MD 20852

Dr. Katherine Ahrens

Dr. Katherine Ahrens PhD
Office of Population Affairs
Rockville, MD 20852 What is the background for this study?

Response: Lead exposure among children is linked to many adverse effects on health and cognitive development, which can be irreversible. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has linked 1999 to 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to administrative data for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) largest rental assistance programs (1999 through 2014), and these linked data allow calculation of the first-ever national blood lead level estimates among children living in HUD-assisted housing. Here we compare blood lead levels among children 1 to 5 years of age in 2005 to 2012 who received housing assistance during 1999 to 2014 with levels among children who did not receive housing assistance during that period. What are the main findings?

Response: After adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic, and family characteristics, children living in assisted housing had a significantly lower geometric mean blood lead level (1.44 µg/dL; 95% CI 1.31, 1.57) than comparable children who did not receive housing assistance (1.79 µg/dL; 95% CI 1.59, 2.01; P<.01). The prevalence ratio for blood lead level of 3 µg/dL or higher was 0.51 (95% CI 0.33, 0.81; P<.01). What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Children 1 to 5 years old during 2005 to 2012 who were living in HUD-assisted housing had lower blood lead levels than expected given their demographic, socioeconomic, and family characteristics. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Housing Assistance and Blood Lead Levels: Children in the United States, 2005–2012

Katherine A. Ahrens, Barbara A. Haley, Lauren M. Rossen, Patricia C. Lloyd,
and Yutaka Aoki
American Journal of Public Health 0 0, 0, e1-e8

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD