Recent research suggests that low levels of toxic metals arsenic and cadmium in the environment may increase the risk of plaque buildup in the neck, legs and heart. The study was published in the ‘Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis & Vascular Biology Journal’.
The body may be exposed to metals through contaminated soil, infiltrating food, or through the inhalation of tobacco smoke, air pollutants, and drinking water. There is strong evidence that toxic elements such as arsenic, cadmium and cadmium can pose a cardiovascular risk factor. Cadmium and arsenic are common in tobacco and food. Arsenic can also be found in water. Titanium is most commonly derived from implants, screws and pacemaker encasings. It can also be found in cosmetic products and certain foods. “Metals are common in the environment, so people are chronically exposed,” said Maria Grau-Perez M.Sc. of the Institute for Biomedical Research Hospital Clinic de Valencia INCLIVA in Valencia. She is also a doctoral candidate in the department for preventive medicine, public and microbiology at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.
“According the World Health Organization (31% of the global cardiovascular disease burden could be avoided if we could eliminate all environmental pollutants,” she said. Plaque, or fatty deposits, can build up in the arteries, causing them to narrowen, weaken, and stiffen. It can cause a stroke, heart attack, angina, peripheral or kidney disease, and even heart attacks depending on the affected arteries.
The carotid and major arteries in the neck have been the focus of prior research on the effects of metal exposure on atherosclerosis. This study looked at subclinical forms of atherosclerosis, which is when symptoms are not present. It also examined the impact on the carotid arteries, femoral and the coronary arteries. Research has suggested that imaging the femoral arterial, which supplies blood to the lower body, could help detect atherosclerosis earlier. Researchers evaluated 1,873 adults (97% of whom were men) in the Aragon Workers Health Study. Participants were between 40 and 55 years of age. They worked at an automobile assembly plant in Spain. Researchers determined the environmental exposure of participants to nine toxic metals, including arsenic and uranium as well as chromium and antimony. They also looked at the association between the presence of subclinical coronary artery disease in the carotid and femoral regions. The study examined the possible role of individual metals as well as metal mixtures in the development of atherosclerosis.
Between 2011 and 2014, participants had their annual occupational health visits. This included information about their socioeconomic and health status, including education level and smoking status, as well as medication use. Each participant underwent a medical examination to determine body mass index, blood glucose levels, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, blood glucose levels, and other health information. To assess metal exposure from food, air, and water, urine samples were taken. Researchers also performed carotid ultrasounds and femoral calcium scoring tests. The analysis showed:
1. Higher levels of metals were found in the urine of older participants. 2. The study found that the few female participants had higher levels of metals than the men, when they were tested in their urine.
3. Adults who smoked at any given time had higher levels of arsenic and cadmium than those who hadn’t. 4. Higher levels arsenic, Cadmium, Titan, and possibly antimony were associated to a higher likelihood of having subclinical arterial atherosclerosis.
5. The most significant associations with plaque buildup in the carotid veins were found to be arsenic and/or cadmium. Cadmium and titanium are more concerned for the femoral and coronary arteries. 6. When combined with cadmium, titanium, and arsenic, arsenic can be more harmful to the arteries.
“This study supports that environmental exposure to toxic metals, even at low levels, is toxic for cardiovascular disease,” said Maria TellezPlaza, M.D. PhD, study co-author and senior scientist at the National Center for Epidemiology, and the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain. “The levels in our study population of metals were generally lower than those found in other published studies.” She added that metals, in particular arsenics, cadmium and titanium, may be relevant risk factors for atherosclerosis at all levels of exposure and among middle-aged, working people.”
The study only looked at a small group of men living in a single area of Spain. It is possible that the results could not be generalized to other countries or populations. Further research is needed to determine the mechanisms behind the development of atherosclerosis, based on metals. Tellez-Plaza stated that current global standards for food, occupational, and environmental safety for cadmium and other metals may not be sufficient to protect the population against metal-related adverse effects.
She concluded that “metal-exposure prevention and mitigation have the potential for substantially improving the way we prevent and treat heart disease.” (ANI)
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff. It is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.