Children exposed to lead may have poorer neurocognitive abilities

Children and adolescents exposed to lead, an environmental pollutant, may have more difficulty falling asleep, according to a new study by the University of Michigan.

According to Erica Jansen, one of the authors of the study, children exposed to lead may have poorer neurocognitive abilities.

It is also known that sleep is associated with neurocognitive problems in children: “This highlights the possibility that sleep can play an intermediate role between exposure to lead and cognitive outcomes,” the researcher says in the press release.

The researcher herself states that she has found links between increased exposure to lead in early childhood and inadequate sleep in adolescence.

The children tested, who fell in 25% of those with the highest blood lead content, slept on average 23 minutes less than 25% of those with the lowest level.

This clearly shows a correlation between blood supply and sleep quality. The study used data from 395 participants included in a cohort study of people from Mexico City observed for up to 25 years.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.