Fluoride Action Network


Objective   To understand the damage to the cardiovascular systems of patients with different degrees of skeletal fluorosis after stopping fluorine exposure. Methods   65 patients with mild, moderate and severe skeletal fluorosis and 23 subjects without skeletal fluorosis as the control group were selected for detailed inquiry of cardiovascular disease history, blood pressure measurement and ECG examination. Results   The rate of skeletal fluorosis patients with cardiovascular system symptoms accounted for 70.77%, and the difference was statistically significant as compared with that of the control group (P < 0.05); the pairwise comparisons of various parameters indicated that the rate of patients with symptoms showed an upward trend along with the exacerbation of the patients’ condition, and the differences between the control group and the severe skeletal fluorosis group were all statistically significant (P < 0.05). There were 42 cases of skeletal fluorosis patients with ECG abnormality, with a detection rate of 35.38%; and 17 cases of ECG abnormality in the control group, with a detection rate of 26.09%; all intergroup comparisons showed no statistically significant differences (P > 0.05). [As seen from] the comparison of ECG parameters, the P-R intervals of the severe skeletal fluorosis group were significantly prolonged and statistically different as compared with those of the control group (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the blood pressures of the investigated groups (P > 0.05). Conclusion   The normal physiological functions of cardiovascular systems of skeletal fluorosis patients are still subject to a certain level of interference after 18 years of water quality improvement and fluoride reduction. The abnormal ECG changes can be significantly recovered in mild and moderate skeletal fluorosis patients, but in severe skeletal fluorosis patients, the recovery speed may be very slow. The long-term effects of severe skeletal fluorosis on the changes in patients’ ECGs remain to be further investigated.