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Is Lead Leading You to Mortality?

Is Lead Leading You to Mortality?

The greatest concern when considering the negative consequences of lead pollution on health is for infants and young children. Heavy metal lead, which is pervasive in the environment, can be harmful to developing brains. However, mounting research indicates that even trace amounts of lead in the blood may increase individuals' risk of developing heart disease.

A study published in the Lancet Public Health past year discovered a connection between lead exposure and an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. More than 14,000 adults in the United States who were adults in the late 1980s provided the data. Even among individuals with blood lead levels less than 5 micrograms per deciliter (g/dL), the connection persisted after researchers adjusted for several confounding variables.

Prior to 2013, only concentrations more than 10 g/dL were regarded as concerning, mostly in youngsters.

Legacy of Lead

Blood lead levels are currently barely over 1 g/dL on average, compared to an average of 10 g/dL in the 1980s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, state that there is no safe level of lead in the blood. A portion of the blood lead enters the bones, where it can remain for decades, she adds, even though the body excretes about half of it in the urine after one to two months. In response to various conditions, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, hyperthyroidism, and aging, bone tissue constantly remodels itself, and that stored lead may be released back into the bloodstream.

Between the middle of the 1980s and the beginning of the 2000s, there was a 43% decrease in cardiovascular disease- related mortality, although this decline cannot entirely be attributed to reductions in traditional risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that exposure to lead and cadmium, another heavy metal, has decreased, which may account for close to one-third of the decline over that period. These decreases are the outcome of public health initiatives like smoking bans, reduced air pollution, cleanups of hazardous waste, improvements to drinking water infrastructure, and prohibitions on lead in gasoline.

Lead and your heart

The main cause of death and a major factor in the global illness burden is cardiovascular disease.

Exposures to environmental toxins, such as lead and other metals, may be avoidable and contribute to population heterogeneity in the prevalence of the cardiovascular disease. But more than a century after the first reports that revealed a connection between lead exposure and cardiovascular outcomes, it is still unclear how lead contributes to cardiovascular disease.

Lead, however, has effects on the cardiovascular system beyond hypertension and elevated blood pressure. Additionally, lead exposure has been linked to various abnormalities of cardiovascular function like left ventricular hypertrophy and changes in cardiac rhythm as well as an increased incidence of clinical cardiovascular endpoints like coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.

Eliminate the lead

Lead continues to be a pernicious presence in daily life despite these achievements.

People should take precautions to reduce their lead exposure throughout their lives because even low amounts of lead can be harmful.

Buildings and steel bridges built before 1978 still contain lead paint. Lead from these structures can permeate the environment and increase soil lead levels after natural catastrophes like storms. Lead dust can be inhaled by amateur home renovators who scrape and sand previously painted surfaces. Hire a lead abatement specialist that is EPA certified rather than taking a DIY method. Lead pipes can erode and contaminate drinking water, mostly in houses constructed before 1986. If you have young children in your house, you might want to think about testing your water.

A word from the team

Lead exposure and air pollution are notable heart disease risk factors, but smoking remains the single most powerful environmental cause of death from cardiovascular disease.

Because of this, quitting smoking is a crucial action a person may do to lower their risk, both for themselves and others who may inhale secondhand smoke.

So, be mindful of your diet and nutrition.

Contact Us right away if you want to learn more about heart health.

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