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19-08-2012 | Cardiology | Article

Evidence stacks up against bisphenol A


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MedWire News: High levels of urinary bisphenol A (uBPA) may be linked to severe coronary artery stenosis, report researchers in PLoS One.

David Melzer (University of Exeter, UK) and team found that uBPA concentrations were significantly higher among patients with severe coronary artery disease (CAD), defined as stenosis in one to three vessels, than those with normal coronary arteries (without any evidence of CAD).

Indeed, the odds for having severe CAD went up 1.4-fold with each standard deviation increase in uBPA (5.96 ng/mL).

Co-author Tamara Galloway said in a press statement: "These results are important because they give us a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the association between BPA and heart disease."

Compared with individuals who had normal coronary arteries, the association between uBPA concentration and intermediate CAD (defined as having evidence of CAD but not >50% stenosis in any vessels) showed a trend toward significance.

Of the 591 individuals participating in the study, 385 had severe CAD, 86 had intermediate disease, and 120 had normal coronary arteries.

The unadjusted median concentration of uBPA was 1.28 ng/mL in patients with normal coronary arteries and 1.53 ng/mL for those with severe CAD.

There was no significant uBPA difference between patients with severe CAD and the other two groups combined.

Concerns have been raised over BPA, a commonly used chemical in polycarbonate plastic products such as refillable drinks containers, compact discs, plastic utensils and other products in everyday use. It has been associated with altered testosterone and changes in the expression of BPA target genes in men, "suggesting that BPA may be more active in the body than previously thought," say Galloway and Melzer in a press statement.

In September 2008, a number of countries banned BPA from the manufacture of baby's bottles and other feeding equipment after it was revealed that the chemical poses health risks to babies.

Melzer commented: "Our latest study strengthens a growing body of work that suggests that BPA may be adding to known risk factors for heart disease. Full proof will be very difficult to get, as experiments on this in humans are not feasible."

David Modesale, Chairman of The Metabonomics and Genomics in Coronary Artery Disease MaGiCAD study, from which the current participants were sampled, added: "This demonstrates the utility of intensively characterized cohorts like MaGiCAD ,and highlights the need for further research into the long-term effects of common environmental chemicals such as BPA."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Piriya Mahendra, MedWire Reporter

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