Read the full story by the American Heart Association
“DALLAS, June 13, 2022 — Middle-aged women with higher blood concentrations of common synthetic chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also called ‘forever chemicals’ and found in water, soil, air and food, were at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, compared to their peers who had lower levels of these substances, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.
PFAS, are a class of synthetic chemicals and according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are thousands of different PFAS that are used in everyday household items, such as certain shampoo, dental floss, cosmetics, non-stick cookware, food packaging, stain-resistant coatings for carpeting, upholstery and clothing. The ‘forever chemicals’ also enter the food system through fish caught in PFAS-contaminated water and dairy products from cows exposed to PFAS through fertilizers on farms, for example.
Even at low levels in the blood, research has shown PFAS can have detrimental health effects. Some PFAS have been linked to cardiovascular risk, including endothelial dysfunction (impaired blood vessel function), oxidative stress and elevated cholesterol. However, no previous studies have evaluated whether PFAS levels affect blood pressure control among middle-aged women.
Previously published data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) demonstrates how common PFAS exposure is, as nearly all Americans have detectable concentrations of at least one PFAS in their blood.
‘PFAS are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they never degrade in the environment and contaminate drinking water, soil, air, food and numerous products we consume or encounter routinely. One study estimated that two of the most common ’forever chemicals’ are found in most household drinking water and are consumed by more than two-thirds of Americans,’ said study lead author Ning Ding, Ph.D., M.P.H., a post-doctoral fellow in the department of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
‘Women seem to be particularly vulnerable when exposed to these chemicals,’ she said. ‘Our study is the first to examine the association between ‘forever chemicals’ and hypertension in middle-aged women. Exposure may be an underappreciated risk factor for women’s cardiovascular disease risk.'”…