Environmental Toxins Linked to Hardening of
TUESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Environmental pollutants
such as dioxins, PCBs and pesticides are associated with hardening
of the arteries (atherosclerosis), according to a new study.
Atherosclerosis is the major underlying cause of cardiovascular
diseases, which are the most common cause of death in
industrialized countries, said the researchers at Uppsala
University in Sweden.
They measured levels of persistent (long-lived and hard to
degrade) organic environmental toxins in the blood of about 1,000
Swedes and also used ultrasound to assess atherosclerosis in the
participants' neck arteries.
The researchers said they found a clear connection between
increasing levels of organic environmental toxins and
atherosclerosis, even after taking into account other risk
The study appears Oct. 11 online, ahead of print in the journal
Environmental Health Perspectives.
"These findings indicate that long-lived organic environmental toxicants may be involved in the occurrence of atherosclerosis and thereby lead to future death from cardiovascular diseases," Lars Lind, a professor in the medical sciences department, said in a university news release.
"In Sweden, and in many countries in the world, many of these substances are forbidden today, but since they are so long-lived they're still out there in our environment. We ingest these environmental toxicants with the food we eat, and since they are stored in our bodies, the levels grow higher the older we get," said Monica Lind, an associate professor in environmental medicine, in the release.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
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