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Elevated bone lead levels associated with 87% greater risk of death from heart disease
Monday, May 14, 2018 12:47 pm Email this article
The one-third of males with the highest lead levels as measured in the kneecap (bone lead levels as opposed to blood lead levels) compared to the one-third with the lowest lead levels were 87% more likely to die from ischemic heart disease (reduced blood supply to the heart) during an average follow-up of 8.9 years according to the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study.
Bone lead vs blood lead levels
Blood lead levels NOT associated with increased risk of death
Blood lead levels were not associated with an increased risk of death, only bone lead levels were.
Conclusion: Lead exposure from prior decades associated with increased risk of death
“We found bone lead to be associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in an environmentally exposed population with low blood lead levels,” the authors of the paper concluded.
“This study suggests that cumulative lead exposure from prior decades of high environmental exposures continues to significantly affect risk of death despite recent declines in environmental lead exposure.”
Subjects: 868 men
They looked at the association between blood lead levels and bone lead levels and mortality among 868 men in the Normative Aging Study.
Weisskopf MG, Jain N, Nie H, Sparrow D, Vokonas P, Schwartz J, and Hu H. A prospective study of bone lead concentration and death from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer in the Department of Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Circulation, 2009 Sep 22; 120(12): 1056-1064.
Author’s Contact Info
Marc G. Weisskopf, PhD
Department of Environmental Health
Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health, Landmark Center
401 Park Dr, PO Box 15697
Boston MA 02215 USA
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