HL Deb 20 May 2003 vol 648 cc75-6WA
Lord Fearn

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What research has been undertaken to ascertain whether areas of hard water in England and Wales have fewer cases of heart disease than other areas; and, if such is the case, what further related health research has been carried out in these areas. [HL2850]

Baroness Andrews:

Most of the relevant epidemiological studies, from many countries, report that death rates from cardiovascular disease tend to be lower in areas with hard water. The explanation remains unclear. The published scientific papers on relevant studies in England and Wales include the following:

Chipperfield B, Chipperfield JR. Relation of myocardial metal concentrations to water hardness and death-rates for ischaemic heart disease.Lancet.1979 Oct 6; 2(8145): 709–12.

Crawford MD, Gardner MJ, Morris JN. Water hardness, rainfall, and cardiovascular mortality.Lancet. 1972 Jun 24; 1 (7765): 1396–7.

Crawford MD, Gardner MJ, Morris JN. Changes in water hardness and local death-rates.Lancet. 1971 Aug 14; 2(7720): 327–9.

Crawford MD, Gardner MJ, Morris JN. Mortality and hardness of water.Lancet. 1968 May 18; 1(7551): 1092

Crawford MD, Gardner MJ, Morris JN. Mortality and hardness of local water-supplies.Lancet.1968 Apr 20; 1(7547): 827–31.

Elwood PC, St Leger AS, Morton M. Mortality and the concentration of elements in tap water in county boroughs in England and Wales. Br J Prev Soc Med. 1977 Sep; 31(3): 1978–82.

Lacey RF, Shaper AG. Changes in water hardness and cardiovascular death rates. Int J Epidemiol. 1984 Mar; 13(1): 18–24.

Lovett AA, Bentham CG, Flowerdew R. Analysing geographic variations in mortality using Poisson regression: the example of ischaemic heart disease in England and Wales 1969–1973. Soc Sci Med. 1986; 23(10): 935–43.

Mackinnon AU, Taylor SH. Relationship between 'sudden' coronary deaths and drinking water hardness in five Yorkshire cities and towns. Int J Epidemiol. 1980 Sep; 9(3): 247–9.

MacPherson A, Baco J. Relationship of hair calcium concentration to incidence of coronary heart disease. Sci Total Environ. 2000 Jun 8; 255(1–3): 11–9.

Maheswaran R, Morris S, Falconer S, Grossinho A, Perry I, Wakefield J, Elliott P. Magnesium in drinking water supplies and mortality from acute myocardial infarction in north west England. Heart. 1999 Oct; 82(4): 455–60.

Nixon JM, Carpenter RG. Mortality in areas containing natural fluoride in their water supplies, taking account of socioenvironmental factors and water hardness. Lancet. 1974 Nov 2; 2(7888): 1968–71.

Pocock SJ, Shaper AG, Packham RF. Studies of water quality and cardiovascular disease in the United Kingdom. Sci Total Environ. 1981 Apr; 18:25–34.

Shaper AG, Packham RF, Pocock SJ. The British Regional Heart Study: cardiovascular mortality and water quality. J Environ Pathol Toxicol. 1980 Sep; 4(2–3): 89–111.

St Leger AS, Sweetnam PM. Statistical problems in studying the relative specificities of association between environmental agents and different diseases: a solution suggested. Int J Epidermiol. 1979 Mar; 8(1): 73–7.

Stocks P. Morality from cancer and cardiovascular diseases in the county boroughs of England and Wales classified according to the sources and hardness of their water supplies, 1958–1967. J Hyg (Lond). 1973 Jun; 71(2): 237–52.