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Common Chemicals Linked to Osteoarthritis

Posted Mar 09 2013 10:20pm
Posted on March 7, 2013, 6 a.m. in Environment Arthritis

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are used in more than 200 industrial processes and consumer products including certain stain- and water-resistant fabrics, grease-proof paper food containers, personal care products, and other items. As such, PFCs have become ubiquitous contaminants of humans and wildlife. Sarah A. Uhl, from Yale University (Connecticut, USA), and colleagues investigated the role of two PFCs, perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), in the prevalence of osteoarthritis.  The team analyzed data from six years of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2003-2008), which enabled them to account for factors such as age, income, and race/ethnicity. When the researchers looked at men and women separately, they found clear, strong associations for women, but not men. Women in the highest 25% of exposure to PFOA had about two times the odds of having osteoarthritis, as compared to those in the lowest 25% of exposure.  "We found that PFOA and PFOS exposures are associated with higher prevalence of osteoarthritis, particularly in women, a group that is disproportionately impacted by this chronic disease," observes the lead investigator.

Sarah A. Uhl, Tamarra James-Todd, Michelle L. Bell.  “Association of Osteoarthritis with Perfluorooctanoate and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate in NHANES 2003–2008.” Environmental Health Perspectives, February 14, 2013.

  
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Tip #131 - Shake the Salt Habit
In the western world, people consume on-average 10 to 12 grams of salt daily, mostly unknowingly as salt is frequently added by food producers/manufacturers, if not by the individual when cooking or serving foods. While salt is a vital nutrient involved in many body functions, overconsumption can markedly raise blood pressure, putting people at-risk for a fatal cardiovascular event.

On a global scale, reducing salt intake around the world by 15% could prevent almost 9 million deaths. Researchers from Kings Fund London (United Kingdom) analyzed low- and middle-income countries, which carry 80% of the world's burden for chronic disease. While they found that simple dietary changes could reduce salt intake by 30%, a 15% reduction in salt intake was found to potentially correlate to saving 8.5 million lives from cardiovascular deaths.

Aim to reduce your consumption of processed and prepared foods, which are common sources of high concentrations of salt.
 
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