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Lead Exposure Tied to Femur Fractures

Lead Exposure Tied to Femur Fractures

A study has been published in the journal Bone that links lead exposure to an increased risk of femur fractures. For decades, there has been a push to remove lead from homes and environments where people, particularly children, might be exposed. Some of the many complications of lead exposure include altered mental status, developmental regression, behavioral issues, and extreme fatigue.

Now, it appears an increased risk of bone fractures, particularly those involving the femur, can be added to this list. Researchers worked with individuals to see if lead exposure played any role in an increased risk of bone fractures. Their results are significant because they can help educate people on the dangers of lead toxicity and their relationship to bone fractures.

The Mechanism Behind Lead Exposure and Bone Damage

The United States has been working to remove lead-based paint from homes, toys, and other areas where people might be exposed. Despite this push, many people are still exposed to lead in high concentrations. Some of the common culprits include old toys, old homes, and poorly maintained workplaces. When someone is exposed to lead, this poison starts to build up throughout people’s bodies. One of the places it centralizes is in the bones.

Once in the bones, lead starts to interfere with the cells’ natural metabolic processes. This means that it is harder for the body to create new bone cells to replace those that might be aging. As a result, without this natural process of bone turnover, the density of the bone itself starts to drop. This causes people to develop a condition called osteoporosis. When bones have a low density, this increases the risk of developing a femur fracture.

Watch YouTube Video – Lead Poisoning – Everything you Need to Know, By Dr. Nabil Ebraheim. The video below does a good job of explaining what happens to our body over years of accumulating lead in our system.

The Design of the Research Study

To test their theory, the researchers collected data on more than 1,800 patients in a national survey over a one-year period. The scientists collected blood and urine samples from these patients and tested the samples for signs of lead exposure. In addition, the patients received a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan (a DEXA imaging study) to test their bone density. These scans were performed over the femur.

Once these scans were completed, individuals were given a FRAX score, which is a tool used to estimate someone’s risk of suffering a bone fracture. This score is generated using the bone mineral density score from the DEXA scan in addition to the individual’s weight, height, and prior medical history. Finally, the patients were compared against each other.

The Results of the Research Study

The researchers came up with some interesting results. Toxic levels of lead in the blood or urine translates to a higher FRAX score even in patients who had never suffered a bone fracture in the past. In addition, patients who had suffered a bone fracture in the past and also had high levels of lead were at an even higher risk of suffering a fracture.

These results show that, across the board and regardless of someone’s past fracture history, high lead levels can increase someone’s risk of suffering a femur fracture. These results are also important because all of the patients in the study were premenopausal. While fracture risks are well-known in patients after menopause, this study shows that even younger women who are exposed to lead are at an increased risk of suffering a femur fracture. By identifying this important risk factor, patients can remain prepared and protect their health.

Femur Fracture Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento femur fracture lawyer. Lead exposure can contribute to a femur fracture. If someone you care for has been diagnosed with a major femur fracture due to the negligence of another person or entity, please give me a call today by using (916) 921-6400 and by calling (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I am a valued part of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and of the Top One Percent, which is a National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum have received verdicts & settled cases worth more than $1 million dollars.

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Citation of Photo: The picture at the top was found first on Pixabay and has been reproduced here with permission.

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