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Exposure to toxic metals may increase risk of clogged arteries

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Environmental exposure to low-level toxic metals arsenic, cadmium, and titanium appears to increase the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries of the neck, heart, and legs, according to a new study published today in the journal of the American Heart Association. .. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology ((((ATVB).

Trace amounts of metal can enter the body through contaminated soil, drinking water, air pollutants, or cigarette smoke that penetrate food. There is strong evidence that toxic metals such as arsenic and cadmium are cardiovascular risk factors. Arsenic and cadmium are often found in tobacco and food, but arsenic is also found in water. Exposure to titanium comes primarily from dental and orthopedic implants, screws, pacemaker cases, cosmetics, and some foods.

“Metal is ubiquitous in the environment and people are chronically exposed to low levels of metal,” said Maria Grau-Perez, M. Sc. .. The principal investigator of the study said. Candidates for Spain and the Department of Preventive Medicine, Ph.D. public health I studied microbiology at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. “According to the World Health Organization, eliminating environmental pollutants could avoid 31% of the burden of cardiovascular disease worldwide.”

Atherosclerosis occurs when fat deposits or plaque build up in the arteries, narrowing, weakening, and hardening. Depending on the affected arteries, it can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or angina. Peripheral artery disease Or kidney disease.

Previous studies on the effects of metal exposure on atherosclerosis have traditionally focused on the carotid arteries, the major arteries of the neck. This study focused on asymptomatic atherosclerosis before the onset of symptoms and investigated the effects of metal exposure on the carotid, femoral, and coronary arteries. Previous studies have suggested that imaging of the femoral artery, the main artery that supplies blood to the lower body, may lead to early detection of atherosclerosis.

Researchers evaluated 1,873 adults (97% males) in the Aragon Workers Health Survey. Participants in the survey worked in a car assembly plant in Spain and were between the ages of 40 and 55. The researchers measured the participants. Environmental exposure Association of exposure to nine toxic metals, arsenic, barium, uranium, cadmium, chromium, antimony, titanium, vanadium, and tungsten, with the presence of asymptomatic atherosclerosis in the carotid, femoral, and coronary arteries. .. This study investigated the potential role of individual metals and metal mixtures in the development of atherosclerosis.

During each participant’s annual occupational health visit from 2011 to 2014, information on each participant’s socio-economic and health was recorded. Education level, Smoking status and drug use. Each person in the study underwent a physical examination to measure obesity index, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, triglyceride, and more. Urine samples were collected to assess metal exposure from air, water, and food. Researchers performed carotid and femoral artery ultrasound, as well as coronary calcium scoring tests.

Results of analysis:

  • Elderly study participants had high levels of most metals measured in urine
  • A few female participants in the study had higher metal levels compared to men when urinary levels were measured.
  • Adults who have smoked at any time have shown higher levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and titanium than those who have never smoked.
  • Higher levels of arsenic, cadmium, titanium, and potentially antimony were associated with a higher likelihood of developing asymptomatic atherosclerosis.
  • Arsenic and cadmium appear to be most closely associated with elevated carotid plaque levels. Cadmium and titanium are of greater concern to the femoral artery. Titanium, and perhaps cadmium and antimony, are of greater concern to the coronary arteries.
  • Arsenic can be more toxic artery If found in combination with cadmium and titanium.

“This study is Toxic metal In the environment, even low levels of exposure are toxic to cardiovascular health, “said Maria Theres Plaza, a senior scientist at the National Epidemiology Center and Salud Institute, co-author of the study. Says. Charles III of Madrid, Spain. “Metal levels in our study population were generally lower compared to other published studies. Metals, especially arsenic, cadmium, and titanium, were among the lowest exposure levels and among middle-aged workers. Even can be an associated risk factor for atherosclerosis. “

The results may not be fully extrapolated to females and other populations around the world, as the study included a very specific population of men in most of one region of Spain. Additional research is needed to understand the mechanisms involved in the development of atherosclerosis based on its association with metals.

“Current global environmental, occupational and food safety standards cadmiumArsenic and other metals may be inadequate to protect the population from metal-related adverse health effects. Prevention and mitigation of metal exposure can significantly improve the way cardiovascular disease is prevented and treated. “

Other co-authors are Maria J. Caballero-Mateos, M. Sc. is. Arce Domingo-Relloso M. Sc. Ana Navas-Acien, MD, Ph.D. Jose Gomez-Ariza, Ph.D. Tamara Garcia-Dr. Valera; Montserrat Leon-Latre, MD, Ph.D. Zoraida Soriano-Gill; Estibaliz Jarauta, MD, Ph.D. Cenarro Ana, Ph.D. Belen Moreno-Franco, Ph.D. Martín La claustra, MD, Ph.D. Fernando Civeira, MD, Ph.D. Jose Casasnovas, MD, Ph.D. ; And EliseoGuallar, MD, Dr.Ph.


Exposure to arsenic, lead, copper and cadmium associated with an increased risk of heart disease


For more information:
Toxic Metals and Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis in the Carotid, Femoral, and Coronary Vascular Areas: Health Survey of Aragon Workers, Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis and vascular biology (2021). DOI: 10.1161 / ATVBAHA.121.316358

Quote: Exposure to toxic metals was obtained from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-12-exposure-toxic-metals-clogged-arteries.html on December 9, 2021 for arterial blockage (2021). May increase risk (December 9th)

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