Historical lead exposure may be linked to 256,…

Don’t underestimate the long-term health consequences of toxic metal exposure!

Historical lead exposure may be linked to 256,000 premature deaths from cardiovascular disease in adults in United States each year

New estimates suggest that 256000 premature deaths from cardiovascular disease – including 185000 deaths from ischemic heart disease – in the USA may be linked to historical lead exposure in middle-aged and older adults (people currently aged 44 years or over), according to an observational study following 14300 people for almost 20 years, published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Previous estimates, which assumed that low-level lead exposure did not increase the risk of premature death, produced substantially fewer deaths. However, this new study finds that low-level lead exposure (between 1-5 micrograms of lead per decilitre of blood) increases the risk of premature death, especially from cardiovascular disease. Lead exposure is linked to high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and ischemic (coronary) heart disease.

Bruce Lanphear , Stephen Rauch, Peggy Auinger, Ryan W Allen , Richard W Hornung. Low-level lead exposure and mortality in US adults: a population-based cohort study. The Lancet Public Health, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30025-2