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Low-Level Lead Exposure, Metabolic Syndrome, and Heart Rate Variability: The VA Normative Aging Study *

Altered heart rate variability (HRV), a marker of poor cardiac autonomic function, has been associated with sudden cardiac death and heart failure.

We examined the association of low-level lead exposure measured in bone by K-X-ray fluorescence with alterations in HRV, and whether metabolic syndrome (MetS) or its individual components modify those associations.

HRV measures [power in high-frequency (HFnorm) and low-frequency (LFnorm) in normalized units, and LF/HF] were taken among 413 elderly men from the Normative Aging Study. MetS was defined as subjects having three or more of the following criteria: abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low high-density lipoprotein, high blood pressure, and high fasting glucose.

Of the subjects, 32% were identified as having MetS. Inverse but nonstatistically significant associations of both tibia and patella lead levels with HFnorm and nonstatistically significant positive relations with LFnorm and LF/HF were found in the entire cohort. There was a graded, statistically significant reduction in HFnorm and increases in LFnorm and LF/HF in association with an increase in patella lead as the number of metabolic abnormalities increased. We also observed that higher patella lead was consistently associated with lower HFnorm and higher LFnorm and LF/HF among subjects with MetS or its individual components. No statistically significant interaction between MetS and tibia lead was observed.

The results suggest that elderly men with MetS were more susceptible to autonomic dysfunction in association with chronic lead exposure as measured in patella. The modification by MetS is consistent with a role for oxidative stress in lead toxicity on the cardiovascular system.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-24-2010
Authors: Sung Kyun Park,1 Joel Schwartz,1,2 Marc Weisskopf,1 David Sparrow,3 Pantel S. Vokonas,3 Robert O. Wright,1,2 Brent Coull,4 Huiling Nie,1,2 and Howard Hu1,2
Source: Environ Health Perspect. 2006 November; 114(11): 1718–1724.