A new British study suggests that low doses of radiation can trigger heart disease and stroke.

A team led by Dr. Mark Little at Imperial College London constructed a mathematical model to find the risks associated with low background levels of radiation.

The team discovered that radiation kills monocytes, a type of white blood cell, in the arterial wall, which results in higher levels of monocyte chemo-attractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and leads to cardiovascular disease.

The authors say that the risks arsing out of exposure to low dose radiation like energy from medical and dental X-rays may be much greater than what have been assumed until now.

The study has appeared in the latest issue of the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology.

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