Lead intoxication and schizophrenia in Malaysia

Blood lead (Pb) is known as one of the common pollutants in the environment. It was found to be related to certain chronic diseases like hypertension and neurobehavioural problems. This study was conducted to determine the association between blood Pb and schizophrenia in Malaysia. This case-control study involved 50 cases of schizophrenic inpatients and 50 controls from non-psychiatric patients. Their blood was taken for blood lead analysis using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The schizophrenic group has a significant higher blood Pb compared to the control group, 4.73±1.67µg/dL and 3.36±1.69 µg/dL respectively with t=2.737 (p=0.007). Serum Pb was recognized to be elevated among the schizophrenia compared to non-schizophrenia subjects in this study. The finding indicated that in spite of regular treatment, the physician needs to monitor patients’ blood Pb for a better response and outcome of the antipsychotic drugs.

Hasni, M.J. and Nazuha, A.
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