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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 88-96

Burden of exposure to lead as a risk factor for mental illness in Indian children 1990–2015: Asystematic analysis based on global burden of disease approach

1 Department of Psychiatry, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology, Director and Senior Consultant, Marundeeshwara Oral Pathology Services and Analytics, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Mohandoss Arunachalam Anusa
Department of Psychiatry, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_22_17

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Background: The risk of lead exposure for mental illness and its burden on Indian children, as a society, is not studied till date. This study aims to present the same as well as to compare the risk and burden between 1990 and 2015. Materials and Methods: Using India-specific, Global Burden of Disease 2015 data health metrics-disability-adjusted life years(DALYs), we estimated the burden of mental illness and exposure to lead as a risk factor for the same. Descriptive estimates of prevalence and DALY for mental illness and risk of lead exposure are presented for various age groups of Indian children(0–14years) of either gender. Results: In 2015, 26,450,345 Indian children were affected with mental illness contributing to DALYs of 2,453,344. In 2015, 162,492.1 DALYs were lost to mental illness due to risk factors and 130,429 lost DALYs due to risk attributed to lead exposure. The risk rate attribution and the difference of burden in 1990–2015 are presented. Years of life lost due to lead exposure for mental illness is high as compared to all attributed risks. Lead was identified as risk factor for intellectual disability among children. Conclusions: Lead continues to pose a significant overall health risk and specifically for mental illness. The estimated burden of mental illness and extent of association of risk indicate the urgent need of clear policies to reduce lead from our immediate environment.

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