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  • 5/10/2011

Moderate arsenic in water harms heart


Even moderate levels of arsenic n drinking water increases the risk of developing heart disease, a new study suggests.

In a 6-year study, researchers measured the amounts of arsenic in drinking water wells in Araihazar, Bangladesh and also studied the levels of the toxic chemical levels in the urine samples of about 12,000 local residents.

Scientists found that the local groundwater sources were contaminated with different levels of arsenic, adding that the death rate from cardiovascular disease was 271 per 100,000 person years among people who drank water with moderate levels of arsenic (12 to 864 parts per billion, or ppb).

The rate of dying from heart disease was 214 per 100,000 person years among people who drank water with low levels of arsenic (less than 12 ppb), scientists reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Data analysis revealed that about nearly 30 percent of those who died during the study period were exposed to moderate levels of arsenic in drinking water.

Moreover, the death rate due to heart conditions in contaminated areas was found to be higher among current and former tobacco smokers. This suggests that smoking boosts the toxic effects of chronic exposure to arsenic on the cardiovascular system.

While previous studies have considered contamination with high levels of arsenic as a health threat to millions of people worldwide, the new research suggests that moderate levels of the chemical might also pose heart risks.

Source: presstv.ir

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