Bisphenol A (BPA) -- a controversial chemical widely used in the plastics industry – may increase the risk of heart disease, a new study has found.
Researchers, reporting in the journal Circulation, found healthy people with higher urine concentrations of BPA were more likely to develop heart disease later in life.
The 10-year study -- funded by the British Heart Foundation – was conducted by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter and the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health.
To reach their conclusions, researchers compared urine BPA levels in 758 healthy people who later developed heart disease, and 861 others who remained heart disease free. They found those who developed heart disease tended to have higher urinary BPA concentrations at the start of the 10-year period.
"This study strengthens the statistical link between BPA and heart disease, but we can't be certain that BPA itself is responsible,” said lead researcher David Melzer of the Peninsula Medical School. “It is now important that government agencies organize drug style safety trials of BPA in humans, as much basic information about how BPA behaves in the human body is still unknown."
BPA is common chemical found in packaged food and drinks, drinking water, dental sealants, exposure to the skin and the inhalation of household dust. Health officials and industry experts have long debated the potential risks of BPA.