Hazardous Metals in Fertilizers Elevate Risk of Non-communicable Disorders

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New study reveals that synthetic fertilizers used in farming can trigger diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among farmers

The health ministry of country are conducting screening programs in rural areas to detect the cause of increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases in country. All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi revealed an increase in diabetes prevalence among the rural population at a rate of 2.02 per 1,000 population annually. The scientists from the nanoscience and water research unit of the central government’s department of science and technology, found a close link between toxic heavy metals used in fertilizers and the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among farmers.

As a part of the government funded research urine samples of around 900 peoples were tested from a village in Tamil Nadu. “Around 82.5% of the study population was involved in farming and high levels of toxic metals were detected in the synthetic fertilizers used in the study village. The prevalence of pre-diabetes, diabetes and atherosclerosis was 43.4%, 16.2% and 10.3%, respectively,” said Pradeep Thalappil, professor of chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology- Madras. The samples were analyzed at Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH) Research Foundation, Coimbatore.

The phase one results of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-INDIAB (India diabetes) study have also shown that the prevalence of non-communicable diseases is higher in both urban and rural areas of India compared to earlier studies. Researchers found no association of conventional risk factors for all the three non-communicable disease conditions (pre-diabetes, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) such as body mass index, blood pressure and total cholesterol with disease conditions. However, urinary levels of metals such as arsenic, chromium, aluminum and zinc showed an association with diabetes, while arsenic and zinc showed an association with pre-diabetes and atherosclerosis.

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