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Microplastics in Your Arteries: A Warning Sign for Heart Health?

We are constantly exposed to tiny pieces of plastic through the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. While these microplastics seem too small to harm us, a new study raises concerns they may negatively impact heart . Researchers in Italy found evidence that microplastics present in the carotid arteries were linked to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed artery samples collected from 257 patients undergoing carotid artery surgery. Surprisingly, microplastics were detected in the fatty plaques of over half the patients. Follow up over three years revealed those with microplastics had double the rate of heart issues compared to those without plastics. The study also found higher inflammation levels in affected arteries, which is known to elevate heart disease risk.

While the study faced limitations due to its small size, it serves as an alarming warning sign. As plastic pollution continues to spread through our and make its way into our bodies, could microplastics be silently threatening heart health? Larger and more rigorous research is still needed to confirm any direct link. However, the ubiquity of microplastics means this potential risk cannot be ignored.

The results call for greater action against plastic waste by governments and citizens alike. As the study's lead researcher Dr. Raffaele Marfella warns, “It is time we raise our collective consciousness on the importance of planetary health.” Though plastics permeate modern life, maintaining cardiovascular wellness may require minimising microplastic exposure through reduced plastic use and improved waste management. This novel study suggests even invisible plastic particles should not be considered harmless.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.
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