A new study suggests that Bisphenol-A (BPA) could be more disruptive to our health than previously thought. BPA is the chemical found in some food containers and plastics. In animal studies, the chemical has been linked to cancer and fetal development problems. But new research suggests BPA has a direct link to narrowed arteries.
The FDA has already banned BPA from baby bottles and kids’ sippy cups.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Cambridge and University of Exeter. They examined the association between severe coronary artery stenosis (the condition name for narrowed arteries) and BPA levels in the urine.
Researchers examined a total of 591 people who participated in the Metabonomics and Genomics Coronary Artery Disease in the UK. They looked at the subjects’ urinary BPA levels and artery narrowing. 385 of the study participants had severe artery narrowing. Meanwhile, 86 had “intermediate” artery narrowing and 120 didn’t have narrowed coronary arteries at all. Thus, the researchers found a link between higher urinary BPA levels and increased risk for severe narrowing of the arteries.
According to the Texas Heart Institute, the more stenosis an artery has, the more blood flow becomes blocked. Patients will see symptoms of chest pain and tightness. The Mayo Clinic says if it becomes more severe, it can lead to a heart attack.
The UK study is not the first time a link has been made between BPA and narrowed arteries. The same team has conducted three past studies on the link. Reuters says the most recent one was published earlier this year in the journal Circulation. But at the time, the team told Reuters that even if BPA is definitively shown to play a role in heart risks — things like smoking and obesity are also an important factor.