The high level of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the blood is associated with premature death. This is illustrated by an interdisciplinary study, based on 1,000 randomly selected 70-year-olds in Uppsala, published in JAMA Network Open magazine today.
The study is one of the series of studies of interdisciplinary collaboration that has now lasted more than ten years between professors Lars Lind and Monica Lind at Uppsala University and environmentalists at Erebru University. It shows health risks related to PCBs, although these substances have long been banned.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of environmental pollutants that are subject to restrictions in many countries, and bans have reduced their concentrations in the environment. But since these substances decompose very slowly and are stored in fatty tissue, they remain present in animals and humans. In particular, PCBs with many chlorine atoms in the molecule persist in most blood of the Swedes.
In a study known as PIVUS (Prospective Investigation of vasculature in the Uppsala elderly) more than 1,000 randomly selected 70-year-olds in Uppsala have been monitored over a longer period of time. In a study on PCBs in the blood, concentrations were measured in the blood of subjects in 2001-2004, and then again when they reached 75 years. Monitoring those who died over a 10-year period showed that people with the highest levels of PCBs with many blood chlorine atoms had a 50% surplus of mortality, especially from cardiovascular disease, compared to other groups. This corresponds to about seven additional deaths during the 10-year follow-up period.
The results were independent of the risk factors that had previously been shown to be associated with cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, low levels of education, and cardiovascular disease at the age of 70 years.
Previous studies have also shown a link between high levels of PCB and atherosclerosis in humans and experimental animals. According to researchers, this discovery and new data combine suggest that the intake of PCB in food should be reduced.
"We humans get the most PCBs in our bodies by feeding them. These substances are soluble in fat and are commonly found in fatty foods such as fish, meat and dairy products. According to the Swedish National Food Agency, particularly high concentrations of PCB present in fatty fish such as the Baltic herring and wild salmon from polluted areas such as the Baltic Sea, the Bay of Batania and the Waerern and Wetlands lakes, says Monica Lind.
Monica Lind, et al. Association for exposure to persistent organic pollutants at risk of mortality. Analysis of data from potential vasculature investigation in the PUUUSA study (PIVUS). JAMA Network Open. 2019; 2 (4): e193070.
Two of the previous research group articles:
Chemicals that Distort Endocrine and Diabetes Risk: evidence-based review, https: /
Circulating levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and carotid atherosclerosis in the elderly, https: /
Read more about PCB and dioxins:
Dioxins and PCBs in Swedish food, https: /
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Toxicity / What are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)? https: /
More about the PIVUS study, within which the current subsidiary was conducted:
http: // www.
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