The effects of lead exposure on serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels and calcium homeostasis have been studied in 63 males occupationally exposed to the metal in the UK. The exposure indices used were blood lead, reflecting short-term exposure, and an in vivo X-ray fluorescence measurement of tibia lead which reflects cumulative lead exposure.
Serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels were higher than those in a referent population, who were non-occupationally exposed to lead, and were correlated with both blood lead and tibia lead. Multiple regression analysis suggested that blood lead was the variable responsible for the increase in serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.
There were no other abnormalities in calcium metabolism associated with the degree of lead exposure.