Fluoride Effects IQ of 12-14 Year-Old Children, India

Razdan P, Patthi B, Kumar JK, Agnihotri N, Chaudhari P, Prasad M. Effect of Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water on Intelligence Quotient of 12-14-Year-Old Children in Mathura District: A Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry. 2017 Sep-Oct;7(5):252-258. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_201_17.

AIMS: The aim was to assess and correlate the influence of the concentration of fluoride in ingested water on the intelligence quotient (IQ) of 12-14-year-old youngsters in Mathura district.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 219 children were selected, 75 from low F area, 75 medium F area, and 69 from high F area. The concentration of fluoride in the routinely ingested water was estimated using “Ion Selective Electrode method”; then, Raven’s Test was utilized to estimate the IQ of the study participants. Independent t-test, Tukey’s post hoc, Chi-square an analysis of variance tests were used to associate the mean and proportion IQ scores in high-, medium-, and low-fluoride regions along with inter-group significant differences (P ≤ 0.05).

RESULTS: The comparison of IQ score showed that 35 (46.7%) participants from the high fluoride and 10 (13.3%) participants from the medium-fluoride areas had below average IQ. Further, it was noted that the lowest mean marks were obtained by the children in the high-fluoride region (13.9467) followed by those in medium (18.9467) and uppermost in least noted fluoride area (38.6087). However, gender-based intergroup comparison did not produce a significant relation with fluoride (P ≥ 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Concentration of Fluoride in the ingested water was significantly associated with the IQ of children. It has also coined the proportional variability in mental output in accordance to the ingested fluoride level. As two sides of a coin, fluoride cannot be utterly blamed for a lower intelligence in a population; it puts forward a fact that intelligence is a multifactorial variable with a strategic role played by genetics and nutrition to develop cognitive and psychosomatic activities in an individual.

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