US Deaths Tied to 'Ubiquitous but Insidious' Lead: 410K a Year

  • US Deaths Tied to 'Ubiquitous but Insidious' Lead: 410K a Year

US Deaths Tied to 'Ubiquitous but Insidious' Lead: 410K a Year

"Our study calls into question the assumption that specific toxicants, like lead, have "safe levels", and suggests that low-level environmental lead exposure is a leading risk factor for premature death in the US, particularly from cardiovascular disease", Professor Lanphear added.

Lead is a chemical element that is naturally present in soil and water.

However, the new study from Prof.

"Our study calls into question the assumption that specific toxicants, like lead, have "safe levels", and suggests that low-level environmental lead exposure is a leading risk factor for premature death in the United States of America, particularly from cardiovascular disease", Professor Lanphear said.

Middle-aged people are especially vulnerable to past exposure, with lead in traffic fumes, paint and plumbing responsible.

In children, lead exposure may cause developmental, behavioral, and learning problems, as well as anemia and problems with hearing.

For this latest research, Prof. There was a correlation for an increase in the concentration of lead in blood from 1.0 to 6.7 µg/dL (10th to 90th percentiles) with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, and ischemic heart disease mortality (hazard ratios, 1.37, 1.70, and 2.08, respectively).

Up to 412,000 deaths a year in the USA can be attributed to lead exposure, according to a new study published Monday in The Lancet Pubilc Health.

The study used the data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES-III) on more than 14,200 Americans aged 20 and over.

Lead author Professor Bruce Lanphear said that many people in the study were actually exposed to lead before they were being analysed.

The average level of lead found in the participants' blood was 2.7 μg/dL. All participants had a medical exam and a blood test for lead at the start of the study.

Between 1988 and 1994, USA experts gave blood-lead tests to 30,000 randomly selected Americans, from infants to the elderly, then followed up with people in 2011. Of these, 1,801 were from CVD and 988 were from heart disease.

One in five of the subjects (around 3630 people) had levels of 5 μg/dL or more. People are still far more likely to suffer complications from smoking. Lead exposure has been associated with hardened arteries, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, according to the researchers. Of these, around 256,000 are from CVD.

"It is not surprising that lead exposure is overlooked; it is ubiquitous, but insidious and largely beyond the control of patients and clinician".

People with the highest lead levels had a 37% greater risk than normal of a premature death and a 70% greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

The study found that lead is common in a variety of common items including fuel, paint and plumbing and can even be found in certain foods, emissions from industrial sources, and contamination from lead smelting sites and lead batteries.