[The effect of lead and cadmium on the lipid profile and psychosocial functioning of children with developmental disorders]

Ann Acad Med Stetin. 2011;57(2):69-77.
[Article in Polish]


Introduction: Impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and attention deficit are the most frequent neurocognitive disorders of childhood. Leaving aside the putative role of environmental and nutritive factors, the etiology and pathogenesis of these disorders remains unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the concentration of lead, cadmium, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and functioning of the child with developmental disorders.

Material and methods: The study enrolled 78 children with behavioral disorders. The mean age of the children was eight years. Standardized tools were used: Manfred Cierpka Family Assessment Measures, Children's Health Questionnaire Parent Form-28, and ADHD-Rating Scale-IV. Concentrations of lead and cadmium in venous blood, lipid profile, and the percentage of some omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the erythrocyte membrane were measured.

Results: A correlation between higher levels of lead in blood of the child and impulsive and hyperactive behaviors at home was observed. Concentrations of cadmium correlated with increased incidence of attention deficit at school. Analysis of the health profile revealed that lead and cadmium correlate with some of the elements that make up the image of a properly functioning child. Reduced levels of AA and EPA positively correlated with the incidence of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. Reduced levels of GLA impaired the acceptance of norms and values. Levels of EPA and DHA had an impact on the overall state of health of the child, as well as on physical activity and feeling of loneliness.

Conclusions: 1. Developmental disorders at school and difficulties in functioning at home may be the consequence of dysfunctions caused by lead and cadmium. 2. Deficiencies of AA, GLA, DHA, and EPA fatty acids or a disorder of their metabolism affect the behavior of the child in the form of hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and attention deficit.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / blood
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Cadmium Poisoning / blood*
  • Cadmium Poisoning / epidemiology*
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Developmental Disabilities / chemically induced*
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / blood
  • Impulsive Behavior / chemically induced
  • Impulsive Behavior / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Lead / blood
  • Lead Poisoning / blood*
  • Lead Poisoning / epidemiology*
  • Male


  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Lead