I recently read an article regarding environmental toxicants such as dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides, which can pose a risk to cardiovascular disease. For the first time a link has been demonstrated between atherosclerosis and levels of long lived organic environmental toxicants in the blood. This study was carried out by researchers at Uppsala University and was published online in the prestigious journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.
I have often talked about the fact that cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes – are the most common cause of death in industrialized countries, and the most important underlying cause of these diseases is atherosclerosis. I have also talked about unbalanced blood fats, diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure as being high risk factors for atherosclerosis.
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Previous studies have also reported possible links between cardiovascular diseases and high levels of persistent (long-lived and hard-to degrade) organic environmental toxicants, such as dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides.
“In Sweden, and in many countries in the world, many of these substances are forbidden today, but since they are so long-lived they’re still out there in our environment. We ingest these environmental toxicants with the food we eat, and since they are stored in our bodies, the levels grow higher the older we get” says Monica Lind, Associate Professor in Environmental Medicine at Occupational and Environmental Medicine. -Dr. Sass
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