New Study Indicates Metals Increase Cardiometabolic Risks

A newly published study examines the distribution of metals exposure and potential associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in the Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS). The study assessed diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk in five countries at different stages of social and economic development.

The researchers selected 500 adults of African descent, ages 25-45, from five countries: Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles, Jamaica and the United States. They randomly selected 150 blood samples (30 from each site) to determine concentrations of selected metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury) to examine associations with cardiometabolic risk factors, Seventh Space Interactive reports.

The authors concluded that while the results are not consistent for all cardiometabolic disease markers, they are “suggestive of potentially important associations between metals exposure and cardiometabolic risk.”

Metals are known endocrine disruptors – substances that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse effects – which makes them potential factors in the development of diabetes. Metals have been associated with hypertension, impaired kidney function, and peripheral arterial disease as well as cardiovascular risks. All-metal hip replacement devices have been associated  with increased blood metal ion levels and metal poisoning. The metal ball and cup of the hip device rub together during movement and release metal particles into the bloodstream. Some patients develop metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions that can be a precursor to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In addition to metal poisoning, recipients of all-metal hips report hip dislocation, pain, fractures, and difficulty walking, rising, standing and balancing. Many recipients have needed additional surgery to remove and replace failed implants. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against hip-implant manufacturers over injuries and complications. Johnson& Johnson and Stryker have recently reached settlements that will compensate many who claimed illnesses and injuries from all-metal implants.


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