According to research published in the British Medical Journal, exposure to heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium and copper may lead to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Researchers performed a meta-analysis of 37 unique studies comprised of nearly 350,000 participants from different parts of the world. The study found that the greater the exposure to the previously mentioned heavy metals, the greater the chance to develop cardiovascular disease. Exposure to cadmium, copper, lead and arsenic all showed an increased risk of coronary heart disease. An increased risk of stroke was also linked to lead and cadmium exposure.