Harmful Exposure to Lead and Mercury Heightens the Risk of High Cholesterol Levels

Harmful Exposure to Lead and Mercury Heightens the Risk of High Cholesterol Levels

A study led by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health) revealed that increased levels of cholesterols could be attributed to undesirably high levels of heavy metal substances, such as mercury and lead, in the blood. The researchers found that high levels of mercury and lead detected in the blood can severely damage arteries by raising lower density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Researchers from Jacobi Medical Center in the U.S., which is a municipal hospital in New York operated by NYC health, have evaluated critical information from the U.S. National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2009-2012, to reach conclusions of this study.

On assessing the database of blood levels of heavy metals and cholesterol levels among American adults, the researchers found that there is a close association between higher blood levels of heavy metals and aggravated levels of LDL cholesterol.

Some of the most important findings by the researchers include,

  • Patients with the highest levels of mercury in their blood have 73% more odds of suffering from high levels of total cholesterol as compared to patients with the lowest levels of mercury in their blood.

  • Patients are also categorized according to the middle for their mercury levels, and they are likely to have around 23% higher risk of suffering from increased LDL cholesterol.

  • In comparison with patients with the lowest levels of lead, patients with the highest levels of lead in their blood have 22% more chances of having elevated LDL cholesterol and 56% greater chances of having increased levels of total cholesterol.

  • Patients with the highest levels of cadmium in the blood carry 41% more chances of having heightened LDL cholesterol levels, in comparison with patients with the lowest levels of cadmium.

The notable findings of this research propose to conduct a heavy metal blood test to diagnose the cause behind elevated cholesterol levels, and mitigate the negative effects of cardiovascular consequences in patients with higher levels of heavy metals. The authors of this research also suggest that people living in cities or regions with disaster water crises are under a greater risk of harmful exposure to heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, and ultimately are more susceptible to increased cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.

The preliminary research is to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago during November 10–12, 2018, where the latest advances and discoveries in cardiovascular science will be exchanged and discussed by clinicians and researchers around the world.

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