Saturday March 23, 2019

Exposure to Lead, Mercury Increases Cholesterol Levels

For the study, the team reviewed information from a national representative database which includes cholesterol levels and blood levels of heavy metals among US adults

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Cholesterol
Lead, mercury exposure raises cholesterol levels: Study. Pixabay

Increased levels of lead and mercury in the blood could raise bad cholesterol levels, known to damage arteries, and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a preliminary research.

The findings by researchers from the Jacobi Medical Center in New York City showed that people with a high level of lead had 56 per cent greater odds of having higher total cholesterol and 22 per cent more likely to have higher bad cholesterol or lower density lipoprotein (LDL).

Those with the highest levels of mercury in their blood were 73 per cent more likely to have higher total cholesterol, while those with increased cadmium levels in the blood had a 41 per cent higher risk of cholesterol.

In addition, mercury levels increased the odds for higher LDL by 23 per cent among those who fell in the middle for their heavy metal levels, compared to those with the lowest level.

The rise in cholesterol seen with increasing heavy metal levels in the blood might have cardiovascular consequences in people exposed to heavy metals, such as in areas with disaster water crises, the researchers said.

Representational image.
Representational image. (IANS)

This suggests the need for screening for heavy metals as a risk for high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, they said.

The results will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago.

Also Read- NASA Grants $7 mn For New Life Detection

For the study, the team reviewed information from a national representative database which includes cholesterol levels and blood levels of heavy metals among US adults.

They found a notable difference between those with the least blood levels of heavy metal and those with the most, with LDL becoming progressively higher as lead levels increased. (IANS)

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Study Finds, Statins Can Prevent Neurological Disorder Development

For the study, the team of researchers searched genetic datasets of around 25 million people to find risk factors for developing ALS.

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Neurological disorder
Statins, if clinically tested, could be used to prevent the development of MND, the researchers said. Pixabay

Besides treating heart disease, cholesterol-lowering drugs statins can also be used to prevent the development of a neurodegenerative disease, finds a study.

According to the study by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) researchers, high cholesterol has been found to be a possible risk factor for the development of motor neurone disease (MND) — a non-curable disease that affects the brain and nerves and is also known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The symptoms include weakness, indistinct speech, difficulty in swallowing food, muscle cramps and more. In some cases, people experienced changes in their thinking and behaviour.

“We saw that higher levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) were causally linked with a greater risk of the disease,” said Alastair Noyce from the varsity.

Heart disease, Neurological
For the study, published in journal “Annals of Neurology”, the team of researchers searched genetic datasets of around 25 million people to find risk factors for developing ALS. Pixabay

“We have well-established drugs that can lower cholesterol and we should look into whether they could protect against this terrible disease, which currently has no cure,” Noyce added.

For the study, published in journal “Annals of Neurology”, the team of researchers searched genetic datasets of around 25 million people to find risk factors for developing ALS.

In addition to the causal effect of high cholesterol, they also found genetic associations with smoking behaviour and lower levels of educational achievement, and an increased risk of ALS.

While low levels of exercise were associated with a protective effect, more aggressive exercise was associated with increased risk.

Neurological disorder, statins
Cholesterol-lowering drugs statins can also be used to prevent the development of a neurodegenerative disease. VOA

However, of these findings, only high cholesterol emerged as a clear modifiable factor that could be targeted to reduce the risk of MND.

ALSO READ: Study Claims, There Should Be Treatment Options Given for Miscarriage

Statins, if clinically tested, could be used to prevent the development of MND, the researchers said.

“The next steps will include studying whether lowering levels of cholesterol might have a protective effect against MND, and potentially evaluating the use of cholesterol-modifying drugs in people at risk of MND,” Noyce noted. (IANS)