Saturday November 17, 2018

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
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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.

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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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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)