Thursday November 21, 2019

Exposure to Arsenic, Lead May Spike up Risk of Heart Disease

Since metals are associated with cardiovascular disease even at relatively low levels of exposure, "population-wide strategies to minimise exposure will further contribute to overall cardiovascular prevention efforts," the researchers concluded

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Heart Disease
Even low exposure to arsenic, lead may up heart disease risk. Pixabay

Even low levels of exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment like arsenic, lead, copper and cadmium pose a significant risk to cardiovascular health, finds a study, led by one of an Indian-origin.

Although often naturally occurring, these contaminants have made their way into water supplies and, via irrigation, into the food chain.

Concern has often focused on the toxicity or carcinogenic properties of the metals, particularly at high doses.

However, the findings, published by The BMJ, showed there is increasing evidence to suggest that heavy metals may have other adverse effects on health – including cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke – even at lower levels of exposure, the researchers said.

“It’s clear from our analysis that there’s a possible link between exposure to heavy metals or metalloids and risk of conditions such as heart disease, even at low doses – and the greater the exposure, the greater the risk,” said lead author Rajiv Chowdhury, from Britain’s University of Cambridge.

Heart Disease
Concern has often focused on the toxicity or carcinogenic properties of the metals, particularly at high doses. Pixabay

“While people shouldn’t be overly worried about any immediate health risk, it should send a message to policymakers that we need to take action to reduce people’s exposure.”

The study “reinforces the (often under-recognised) importance of environmental toxic metals in enhancing global cardiovascular risk, beyond the roles of conventional behavioural risk factors, such as smoking, poor diet and inactivity,” the researchers said.

For the study, the team conducted a meta-analysis of 37 studies involving almost 350,000 participants.

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Chowdhury noted that the study highlighted the potential need for additional worldwide efforts and strategies “to reduce human exposures even in settings where there is a relatively lower average level of exposure.”

Since metals are associated with cardiovascular disease even at relatively low levels of exposure, “population-wide strategies to minimise exposure will further contribute to overall cardiovascular prevention efforts,” the researchers concluded. (IANS)

Next Story

Physical Activity and Healthy Diet can cut the Risk of Heart Attack in Children

The study presented at the Brazilian Congress of Cardiology in Porto Alegre, shows baseline results in the 433 Brazilian students surveyed

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Children
Currently, Physical activity is well below the level recommended by the WHO, which is 300 minutes per week for Children and adolescents. Pixabay

Encouraging physical activity and improving diet in Children is crucial to cut deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD), a new study suggests.

“Atherosclerosis – clogged arteries – starts in childhood and is more likely with a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet,” said study lead author Karine Turke.

“Exposure to these behaviours throughout life increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, so prevention should begin in childhood,” Turke said.

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer, causing 17.9 million deaths a year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of overweight or obese infants and young children rose from 32 million globally in 1990 to 41 million in 2016.

Around 3.2 million deaths each year are due to insufficient physical activity.

The study presented at the Brazilian Congress of Cardiology in Porto Alegre, shows baseline results in the 433 Brazilian students surveyed.

The median age was 13 years and 51 per cent were male. The median time spent doing mild, moderate and vigorous physical activity over one week was 40 and 60 minutes, respectively. The median sitting time was 360 minutes per week.

“Physical activity is well below the level recommended by the WHO, which is 300 minutes per week for children and adolescents,” said Turke.

Children
Encouraging physical activity and improving diet in Children is crucial to cut deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD), a new study suggests. Pixabay

Regarding food, 53 per cent had consumed leafy vegetables the previous day, 69 per cent fruit, 91 per cent carbohydrates like rice or pasta, 70 per cent legumes, 79 per cent meat, 42 per cent soft drinks, 39 per cent chocolate, 39 per cent powdered beverage mixes, 42 per cent sausages and 49 per cent candy, including chocolate or any other sweets.

“Many had eaten processed foods, which are easier for parents to prepare than cooking from fresh ingredients,” said Turke.

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“Students will learn to classify foods as fresh, minimally processed, processed, and ultra-processed, and to prioritise fresh and minimally processed items,” Turke added. (IANS)