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The Role of Mercury and Cadmium Heavy Metals in Vascular Disease, Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease, and Myocardial Infarction

INTRODUCTION

There is increasing concern regarding the overall health effects of exposure to various heavy metals in the environment. This is particularly true of mercury and less so with cadmium, lead, aluminum, and arsenic. The cardiovascular consequences of mercury and cadmium toxicity have not  been carefully evaluated until recently. This paper will critically review the vascular consequences of mercury and cadmium toxicity in humans as it relates to hypertension, generalized atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease (CHD), myocardial infarction (MI), cerebrovascular accidents  (CVA), carotid artery disease, renal dysfunction, and total mortality.