Middle-aged Women Environmentally Exposed to Heavy Metals May Experience A Rise in Blood Pressure Levels

A study revealed that middle-aged women who are environmentally exposed to heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead, are likely to experience a rise in blood pressure levels.

Middle-aged Women Environmentally Exposed to Heavy Metals May Experience A Rise in Blood Pressure Levels
Photo: Blood Pressure Level Check | InStyleHealth


Research analysis involved 1,317 White, Black, Chinese, and Japanese women aged 45-56 years old (1999-2000) participating in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation Multi-Pollutant. Participants provided urinary samples at baseline, which were assessed for concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead.

The urinary metal concentrations were assessed in relation to the longitudinal changes in blood pressure using linear mixed-effects models controlled for confounders. The systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were evaluated annually or biannually through 2017.

The estimated annualized increases in systolic BP correlated with the highest and lowest tertiles of urinary metal concentrations were 0.93 mm Hg and 0.74 mm Hg for arsenic, 0.82 mm Hg and 0.72 mm Hg for mercury, and 0.86 mm Hg and 0.72 mm Hg for lead, correspondingly.

On the other hand, diastolic BP showed a similar trend of increase in correlation with urinary metal concentrations.

The urinary cadmium concentrations associated with a greater rate of increase in systolic BP only among non-smokers. However, women with higher vs lower concentrations of all four metals exhibited higher annualized increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.

Current data emphasize a need for continued efforts to reduce environmental exposures to heavy metals.

 

Source: Hypertension 2021;doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.121.17295

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