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Category: Environmental Toxin Testing
Higher levels of lead circulating in the blood are correlated to greater risk of heart disease in older women, according to a study appearing in the journal Environmental Health.
According to the study, women with more than 8 µg/dl of blood were roughly three times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than those with less than that amount. Overall death rates were higher as well. However, lead didn't appear to increase rates of cancer, diabetes or other major conditions.
"There is definitely an indication that for certain risk groups, lead may play an additional [toxic] role," said Wiliam Atchison, a toxicologist from Michigan State University in an article in Science News.
The researchers have previously shown that higher levels of circulating lead in the blood was linked to a greater risk of falls and hip fractures for older women. According to the news source, the researchers are now investigating whether lead poses a similar risk of heart disease for men.
Lead can be trapped in bone, replacing calcium, only to be released later in life when bones thin with age, thus a lead blood test can determine current levels, but may need to be repeated as a patient ages.
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