Arsenic link to heart disease mortality

A STUDY of drinking water in central Bangladesh has confirmed a link between environmental arsenic and an increase in deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Researchers collected water from almost 6000 wells along with urine samples from almost 12,000 people, who were followed up, on average, for more than six years.

There were 214.3 CVD deaths per 100,000 people among those who drank water containing less than 12 micrograms of arsenic per litre. 

Where mineral levels exceeded this, the rate of CVD deaths jumped to 271.1 per 100,000.

“Exposure to arsenic in drinking water is adversely associated with mortality from heart disease, especially among smokers,” the research concluded.

BMJ 2011, online 5 May