Harvard Heart Letter

Research we're watching: Arsenic and heart disease

People with relatively low-level arsenic exposure are at higher risk of death from heart disease and stroke, a study of Native Americans suggests.

Researchers led by Dr. Ana Navas-Acien, associate professor of environmental science at Johns Hopkins University, measured the amount of inorganic arsenic in the urine of 3,575 men and women ages 45 to 75 living in Arizona, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and South Dakota. After nearly 20 years, those with higher baseline arsenic levels were at significantly increased risk of heart disease and stroke than those with lower arsenic levels. Participants with the highest arsenic levels were 65% more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than those with the lowest levels of arsenic. The study appeared in the Sept. 24 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.?

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