BPA and Heart Disease Linked Again: Population Data Support Concern about Plastics Chemical

By Ehrenberg, Rachel | Science News, February 13, 2010 | Go to article overview

BPA and Heart Disease Linked Again: Population Data Support Concern about Plastics Chemical


Ehrenberg, Rachel, Science News


A previously reported link between exposure to bisphenol A and heart disease stands, reports a study published online January 13 in PLoS ONE.

The finding provides more evidence implicating the plastics chemical in cardiovascular and metabolic problems, notes Richard Stahlhut of the University of Rochester in New York. "It's becoming a coherent picture that really does fit together," says Stahlhut, who was not involved in the research. "If these all connect, we really do have a problem."

Researchers analyzed data from the 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NHANES uses physical examinations, clinical and lab tests, and interviews to get a snapshot of the health of the U.S. population. The new analysis reveals an association between levels of bisphenol A in urine and risk of cardiovascular disease, a link also detected in the 2003-04 NHANES data.

"We now have two completely separate samples with completely different people," says study coauthor David Melzer of the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, England. The work shows the earlier finding "wasn't a blip," he says.

Human exposure to bisphenol A is widespread. BPA is a building block of polycarbonate plastics and is common in the epoxy linings of canned food. It also mimics estrogen. Numerous studies have found that BPA interferes with development and function in a range of tissues.

The NHANES link to cardiovascular disease is a third line of evidence implicating the chemical in metabolic and heart problems, Stahlhut says. A 2008 study examining human fat tissue found that BPA suppresses a hormone that protects people from heart attacks and type 2 diabetes. …

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