Chemical Could Up Heart Risk
For middle age and older adults, a chemical found in common household and industrial products is associated with increased risk of heart disease, according to a study led by Anoop Shankar, MD, PhD, of West Virginia University and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a man-made chemical found such products as lubricants, polishes, paper and textile coatings, food packaging, and fire-retarding foams. An article in MedPage Today reports that previous studies have shown that meat, fish, and plant products in U.S. supermarkets are contaminated by the chemical, although much of the human exposure comes through drinking water.
Shankar and colleagues wrote: "The public health importance of our findings is that serum PFOA levels appear to be positively related to these common cardiovascular disease outcomes even at relatively low, 'background' exposure levels in the U.S. general population. Because all PFOA is man-made, this excess risk may be removed or substantially mitigated through regulation or by emerging pharmacological means that need to be further studied."