Birth Cohort Children Under 6

Birth Cohort Children Under 6

The birth cohort children under 6 provides information about blood lead testing and blood lead levels (BLLs) among children born in the same year, known as a birth cohort. This indicator evaluates all BLL test results prior to a child’s sixth birthday. These data can be used to identify changes in blood lead levels over time and to monitor progress toward reducing and preventing exposure to lead in children.

Elevated BLLs in young children have been associated with adverse health effects ranging from learning impairment and behavioral problems to death. Since children may have elevated BLLs and not have any specific symptoms, Iowa requires all children to be tested at least once before the age of six.

The measures presented here focus on blood lead testing of children before their sixth birthday. Evaluating blood lead testing results in this way contributes to the overall understanding of the impact and burden of lead poisoning in Iowa. These measures can be helpful for healthcare providers and local public health agencies for program assessment and improvement, and to evaluate compliance with the testing requirement.

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