Longitudinal monitoring of selected elements in blood of healthy young children

Brian Gulson*, Karen Mizon, Alan Taylor, Michael Korsch, Jennifer Stauber, J. Michael Davis, Honway Louie, Michael Wu, Luminita Antin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


There are limited data on essential nutrients in the whole blood of young children. As part of a longitudinal study of the impact on young children and the environment from the introduction of an organic Mn compound into unleaded gasoline in Australia, we have measured a suite of elements in whole blood. The children, aged between 6 and 31 months at recruitment, have been monitored at 6-month intervals for up to 5 years. Blood samples were analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn and Pb. Mixed model analyses of 665 blood samples using backward elimination showed significant positive relationships between Ca, Mg and Zn and season, variable relationships with time, but no association with gender or traffic exposure. The elements Ca, Mg and Zn showed higher concentrations in summer compared with winter, whereas Fe and Pb showed lower concentrations in summer compared with winter. Concentrations of all elements except Fe showed significant effects over time: Ca, Cu, Mg, Pb and Mn showed decreases over time, whereas Zn showed an increase. The mixed model analyses with the individual elements as the dependent variable showed some interesting relationships and require further follow-up as some of these appear to conflict with pre-existing concepts, although the multi-element data on which these concepts are based are limited. The variance for blood Pb and blood Mn arising from the other elements was small with 0.5% in the case of blood Pb and 3.7% for blood Mn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2008


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