X-rays, even in low dose, may harm your heart

July 14, 2017 04:16 PM

Punjab News Express />LONDON : Even low exposure to ionising radiation, such as href=''>X-rays, may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, a study has cautioned. /> />The findings indicated that an individuals' exposure to href=''>X-rays, even at around 0.5 Gy -- which is equivalent to recurrent CT scan imaging -- is associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular damage, up to decades after exposure.  /> />Further, exposure to href=''>X-rays also caused several other permanent alterations in the human coronary artery endothelial cells that had the potential to adversely affect their essential functions. /> />Endothelial cells, which form the inner layer of blood vessels, were found to produce reduced amounts of nitric oxide -- an essential molecule in several physiological processes including vascular contraction.  /> />This raises questions about the nature of long-term alterations in the heart's vascular system caused by such doses, said Soile Tapio from Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen, the German Research Centre for Environmental Health. /> />The results were published in the International Journal of Radiation Biology.  /> />Cells damaged by low-dose radiation also produced increased amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to damage in DNA and proteins. /> />In addition, the exposed cardiac endothelial cells were found to have reduced capacity to degrade oxidised proteins and to be ageing prematurely.  /> />All these molecular changes are indicative of long-term premature dysfunction and suggest a mechanistic explanation to the epidemiological data showing increased risk of cardiovascular disease after low-dose radiation exposure, Tapio said.

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