The United States (US) had a higher proportion of cardiovascular (CV) deaths associated with lead exposure and the United Kingdom (UK) had a higher proportion of CV deaths related to particulate matter exposure during the past 30 years, according to study results presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2022, held from November 5th through 7th, in Chicago, Illinois.
Researchers assessed CV death rates related to environmental exposure to lead, smoking, second-hand smoke, and air pollution. The study population included individuals from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease study who died between 1990 and 2019 in the UK and the US. The investigators compared the 30-year mean CV death rates and estimated trends of CV deaths with the 4 risk factors.
Data from 33,041,416 patients were included. Overall, mortality rates in populations exposed to lead and particulate matter pollution were significantly different. The US had a higher risk-attributable CV death rate from lead exposure compared with the UK (RR, 0.024 vs 0.014, P <.001), and the UK had a higher risk-attributable CV death rate from particulate matter exposure vs the US (RR, 0.065 vs 0.050, P =.001).
No statistically significant differences were found regarding smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. A steady declining pattern was observed in both countries for all 4 risk factors in mortality trend analyses for percentage of CV death.
“More research on how environmental risk factors impact our daily lives is needed to help policymakers, public health experts, and communities see the big picture,” stated lead author Dr Anoop Titus in a press release. “Better antismoking campaigns need to be developed as well as changes that move us away from fossil fuels.”
Titus A, Kumar PA, Dasari M, et al. Impact of environmental factors on cardiovascular death comparing two first world countries: Great Britain and United States of America: Global Burden of Disease 2019 study. Presented at: The American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2022; November 5-7, 2022; Chicago, IL. Abstract # SU3119.
30 years of data: lead and other environmental toxins linked to CVD deaths in the US, UK. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022; October 31, 2022.