Identifying and Quantifying the Impact of Blood Lead Levels on Academic Performance of Third Grade Children in Evansville, Indiana Open Access

Xu, Meng (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/r207tp624?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract

Identifying and Quantifying the Impact of Blood Lead Levels on Academic Performance of Third Grade Children in Evansville, Indiana

By Meng Xu

Objective: To identify and quantify the impact of blood lead levels on third grade childrens' academic performance on school level basis in Evansville, Indiana.

Method: We conducted an ecological analysis using public data of third grade the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) test results in ELA and Math of Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. Under support of GIS software, we linked 3268 children's blood lead samples from Evansville blood lead testing surveillance data from 2001 to 2004, to 19 public elementary school academic performance scores by school for school year 2010, 2011, and 2012. Controlling for a series of demographic contributors, multivariate linear regression models were established to determine the impacts of high blood lead levels on children's school test results based on the low blood lead levels group and the high blood lead levels group.

Results: Demographic factors such as sex, ethnic, sample type, the year house built and median income are significantly related to children's blood lead levels(p<0.05). Adjusted for the demographic contributors--the percent of students taking this test and the percent of students who are limited English Proficiency (LEP), a blood lead level ≥5 μg/dL is negatively associated with third grade students English language and arts (ELA) test results (p<0.04), Math test results (p<0.02) and both these two subjects test results (p<0.01), respectively.

Conclusions: Schools with higher percent of with blood lead levels ≥5 μg/ dL before the age of 5, had lower third grade students' school performance scores in public elementary school in Evansville, Indiana, after adjusting for key potential confounders.

Key words: Blood lead level, school performance, lead exposure.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction..................................................1

Methods ......................................................2

-School Performance Data................................2

-Blood Lead Data ...........................................3

-Study Sample Construction .............................3

-Statistical Analyses and Modeling .....................4

Results .........................................................5

-Blood Lead Sample Representatives ...................5

-Third Grade School Performance ........................7

-Effect of Lead on ISTEP+ Test Scores.................7

Discussion ......................................................9

Conclusions and Recommendations .....................10

References ....................................................11

Tables & Figures .............................................14

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