High amounts of cadmium in cigarettes and vegetables have been related to a greater fatality rate in flu patients, according to a new study.


High amounts of cadmium in cigarettes and vegetables have been related to a greater fatality rate in flu patients, according to a new study.

Long-term cadmium exposure, even at low levels, may weaken the body’s pulmonary defense mechanism, according to scientists.

According to studies, high levels of cadmium, a metal found in cigarettes and tainted vegetables, are linked to a higher likelihood of death in individuals with influenza or pneumonia. They warn that it could make Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses more severe. Long-term cadmium exposure, even at moderate levels, may weaken the body’s pulmonary defense system, and persons with high amounts of the chemical may be unable to cope with influenza virus attacks, according to researchers.

“Our findings imply that reducing cadmium exposure could benefit the general public, both smokers and nonsmokers,” says main author Sung Kyun Park, associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Environmental Health Perspectives reported the study’s findings.

According to senior author Howard Hu, professor and chair of USC’s Department of Preventive Medicine and an occupational/environmental physician, the findings of the study must be confirmed in other populations and cadmium’s potential impact on coronavirus-related morbidity and death must be investigated. “Unfortunately, the human body has a much harder time excreting cadmium than other harmful metals, and its presence in many healthy foods means it’s vital to keep lowering sources of pollution that contribute to its presence in air, soil, and water,” Hu says.

What did the investigators discover?

As statistics began to emerge from Wuhan, China, early in the epidemic, a substantial number of patients dying from the coronavirus shared a few characteristics: they were male, smokers, and older. This inspired Matti Sirén, a co-author of the paper from Finland, to cooperate with Park and Hu, who had studied the effects of cadmium on chronic diseases such as lung and cardiovascular diseases a decade before.

Because there isn’t enough information to assess the link between cadmium and Covid-19, the team decided to look into the possibility of cadmium being linked to other viral diseases like flu and pneumonia. “In the early stages of the pandemic, we couldn’t look at cadmium body load among Covid-19 patients.” “Our goal was to identify a modifiable risk factor that could predispose persons with Covid-19 infection to suffer a serious consequence and die from coronavirus,” Park explains.

Data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2006 were used in the study. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) conducts the NHANES survey, which offers nationally representative survey data on the health and nutritional status of the American population.

The report included over 16,000 participants from two different cohorts. Cadmium was one among them. Brinkwire News in a Nutshell


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