The presence of high levels of urinary Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in plastic products like water bottles and baby feeding bottles, may be linked to narrowing of arteries and risk of heart disease.
“Our latest study strengthens a growing body of work that suggests that BPA may be adding to known risk factors for heart disease,” said David Melzer, professor of epidemiology and public health at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) of Exeter University.
A team led by Melzer from the PCMD and University of Cambridge analysed data from 591 patients, who participated in the Metabonomics and Genomics Coronary Artery Disease (MaGiCAD) study in Cambridgeshire, UK, the journal Public Library of Science ONE reports.
Patients were classified into severe, intermediate or normal coronary artery disease (CAD) categories based on narrowing of their coronary arteries, which deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle known as myocardium, according to an Exeter statement.
In all, 385 patients were identified to have severe CAD, 86 intermediate CAD and 120 had normal coronary arteries. The vessels that deliver oxygen-rich blood to the myocardium are known as coronary arteries.
The study shows that the concentration of urinary BPA, a controversial chemical commonly used in food and drink containers, was significantly higher in those with severe CAD compared to those with normal coronary arteries.
Many nations moved to ban BPA from the manufacture of baby’s bottles and other feeding equipment, following a PCMD study in September 2008. The BPA is used in polycarbonate plastic products such as refillable drinks containers, compact disks, some plastic eating utensils and many other products in everyday use.
Other studies related to BPA carried out by the same research team have found associations with altered testosterone, suggesting that the chemical may be more active in the body than previously thought.
Tamara Galloway, professor of toxicology and study co-author from Exeter, said: “These results are important because they give us a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the association between BPA and heart disease.”