New study into link between pesticides and cardiac arrhythmia
Clear indications that pesticides can disrupt the heart rhythm have prompted a closer study into the link between pesticides and cardiac arrhythmia, Trouw reports. "We are on the trail of that link," research leader Bianca Brundel, professor of psychology and a molecular and cell biologist at Amsterdam UMC, said to the newspaper.
"We concluded from initial studies that exposure to pesticides increases the risk of atrial fibrillation. There are no firm conclusions yet, and we are currently working on a scientific publication," Brundel said.
Atrial fibrillation is a common heart rhythm disorder. Some 345,000 Netherlands residents suffer from it, according to the newspaper. The researchers want to see whether people working in horticulture and agriculture, who have more exposure to the chemicals used to control pests and weeds, are more likely to suffer this condition.
A person with arterial fibrillation has an irregular, often too high, heart rate, which can lead to dizziness and fainting. While the condition is not life-threatening in itself, treatment is usually needed to prevent heart damage and an increased risk of stroke.
Brundel received a major grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and will start her research in September. She is a specialist in cardiac arrhythmias at the Amsterdam University Medical Center.