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Blood Samples can Tell If You Are Rich or Poor: Study

Aug 03, 2013 08:51 AM EDT

A person's income can be predicted through his/her blood samples. A new study found that build up of certain chemicals in blood can show whether a person is rich or poor.

The study also shows that it is not just the poor that have high levels of toxins in blood, as was previously believed. People in the higher socio-economic group can also have a toxin build-up in their bodies.

Researchers at University of Exeter used data from separate populations. Their studies showed an association between 18 different chemicals in the blood to poverty level. Also, contrary to popular belief, wealthy people were more likely to have a higher level or mercury, cesium and arsenic in their blood.

The scientists attributed high levels of mercury and arsenic in the blood of wealthy people to higher consumption of sea-food.

Higher level of mercury in body can negatively affect brain and can lead to kidney damage.

"We've found that as people become better off, changes in their lifestyle alter the types of chemicals in their bodies, rather than reducing the overall amount. This realisation has a profound impact on the way we treat chemical build ups, suggesting we should move to dealing with groups based on lifestyle, rather than earnings," said Dr Jessica Tyrrell from the University of Exeter, according to a news release.

The data for the study came from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study found that levels of benzophenone-3- chemical, usually found in sunscreens, to be high in the blood of rich people.

Poor people were more likely to have higher levels of urinary lead, cadmium, antimony and bisphenol A in their blood. Researchers said that poor diet along with cigarette smoking is linked with the increase of lead and cadmium.

Higher level of lead in the body could be dangerous and can lead to lead poisoning. According to Medline Pus, symptoms of lead poisoning include abdominal pain, aggressive behavior, headaches, irritability, reduced sensations and low appetite. At higher levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

"Long term exposure to chemicals, even in very small quantities, can lead to a number of adverse health effects such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This study has produced a robust analysis of how the accumulation of these chemicals relates to socioeconomic status, giving us an important understanding that will help to inform strategies aimed at improving health" Dr Tyrrell concluded.

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