Global Health Asia-Pacific July 2022 - Page 28

Heart News

A relative ’ s death could increase the risk of heart failure
Data show risk changes depending on which family member passes away

Bereaved people with heart failure who have just lost a close family member may be at an increased risk of death , especially in the first week after the traumatic event .

Researchers scoured data from 58,948 study participants who went through bereavement and found that the highest risk of death from heart failure was among individuals who lost a spouse or partner ( about a 20 percent increased risk ), while those who lost a sibling saw a 13 percent surge and losing a child led to a 10 percent increase . By contrast , the death of a parent wasn ’ t associated with higher mortality risk .
��ur finding that bereavement was associated with mortality in H� patients contributes to and extends the existing literature regarding role of stress in prognosis of H� and is consistent with studies reporting associations between bereavement and increased risk of incident cardiovascular conditions , � Hua Chen , lead author of the study and a doctoral student at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden , said in a press release .
The researchers believe that the death of a family member may act on the system that regulates stress and emotional response and on the physiological processes that occur in heart failure .
Such findings suggest that patients with heart failure who are in bereavement should be kept under watch by friends and family members , especially in the aftermath of their loss .
�uture research should further untangle the link between stressful events and heart failure risk . ��urther studies are needed to investigate whether less severe sources of stress can also contribute to poor prognosis in H� and to e�plore the mechanisms underlying this association ,” the authors concluded .
Soil pollution could contribute to heart disease
The link looks worrying , but more research is needed

Pesticides and heavy metals in soil can affect the cardiovascular system , according to a review published in a journal of the European Society of Cardiology .

Pollutants like plastic and fertilisers can be inhaled , while heavy metals like cadmium and lead as well as pesticides can enter the body through contaminated food . Polluted water is also a major carrier of these toxic substances .
“ Evidence is mounting that pollutants in soil may damage cardiovascular health through a number of mechanisms including inflammation and disrupting the body ’ s natural clock ,” said study author Professor Thomas Münzel of the University Medical Centre �ain� in a press release .
At least nine million people die every year because of air , water , and soil pollution . Most soil-related deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease such as ischaemic heart disease , heart attack , stroke , and heart rhythm disorders .
In particular , studies have found associations between high lead presence in the blood and cardiovascular disease , which includes coronary heart disease , heart attacks , and strokes in women , as well as in people with diabetes .
“ More studies are needed on the combined effect of multiple soil pollutants on cardiovascular disease since we are rarely exposed to one toxic agent alone . Research is urgently required on how nano- and microplastic might initiate and exacerbate cardiovascular disease . Until we know more , it seems sensible to wear a face mask to limit e�posure to windblown dust , filter water to remove contaminants , and buy food grown in healthy soil ,” said Professor Münzel .
26 JULY 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com