AHA: Environmental Exposures Tied to CVD Deaths in the U.S., U.K.

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by Healthday

Risk-attributable cardiovascular death rate associated with lead exposure higher in the U.S. than the U.K.; opposite pattern seen between the countries for particulate matter exposure

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Exposure to environmental toxins may contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022, held from Nov. 5 to 7 in Chicago.

Anoop Titus, M.D., from Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, and colleagues compared 30-year mean CVD deaths among 33 million U.S. and U.K. individuals with environmental risk factors (lead exposure, secondhand smoke, particulate matter pollution, smoking) who died between 1990 and 2019 and were identified through the Global Burden of Disease 2019 Study.

The researchers found that CVD deaths attributed to lead and particulate matter pollution exposure differed significantly by country. The proportion of CVD deaths associated with lead exposure was higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom (2.4 versus 1.4 percent). However, the proportion of CVD deaths associated with particulate matter exposure was higher in the United Kingdom than in the United States (6.5 versus 5.0 percent). There were no statistically significant differences observed between the countries for CVD deaths associated with either smoking or secondhand smoke exposure. A pattern of steady decline of CVD deaths associated with all four risk factors was seen in both countries.

“Despite reductions made, our study suggests that there is still a significant difference between the U.S. and the United Kingdom when comparing cardiovascular death risk factors such as lead and particulate matter,” Titus said in a statement. “Physicians may counsel their patients about the cardiovascular risks of environmental toxins; however, it takes a community to achieve change.”

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