Navigation Links
Could PCBs Help Boost Blood Pressure?
Date:7/19/2010

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- People in an Alabama city who had higher levels of the chemicals known as PCBs in their bodies were much more likely to have high blood pressure, a recent study found, but it's not clear if the PCBs actually caused their hypertension.

If a direct connection does exist, the finding may indicate a serious health threat to those exposed to PCBs, which were once used in many products but have been banned in the United States since 1979.

"We were surprised what a strong relationship we found," said study co-author Dr. David O. Carpenter, a public health physician and director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany in Rensselaer, N.Y.

The results could indicate trouble beyond Anniston, the city where the study took place, Carpenter added. While the city housed a plant that manufactured PCBs, the chemical levels linked to high blood pressure were typical of those of many people living elsewhere in the country.

PCBs -- polychlorinated biphenyls -- were used in hundreds of industrial products during much of the 20th century. The U.S. ban occurred amid fears about their adverse health effects, including the belief that the compounds may cause cancer.

More than three decades later, PCBs still linger in air, water and soil -- and in humans -- because the chemicals don't break down.

The study, published online recently in the Journal of Hypertension, was funded by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers tested the blood of 758 Anniston residents (407 whites, 351 blacks) and checked their blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The researchers focused on 394 people who were not taking high blood pressure medications. After adjusting the numbers for risk factors like gender and obesity, they found that those with the highest levels of PCBs in their bodies -- in the top third -- were more than 3.5 times more likely to have high blood pressure than those in the lowest third.

About a third of 98 people in the top third had elevated blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

If PCBs do contribute to high blood pressure in some way, it's not clear how they might do so. Carpenter said the chemicals could possibly disrupt genes that regulate blood pressure.

It's also possible that the chemicals could alter the way hormones work, encourage inflammation and disrupt cell functioning in the heart and blood vessels, added R. Thomas Zoeller, professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts.

Carpenter cautioned that factors other than PCBs could explain the higher rates of blood pressure in certain people. It's possible, for example, that high levels of PCB are a sign of exposure to other chemicals that actually may be at fault.

PCBs can still be found in animal fats, including fish, meat, dairy products, eggs and breast milk, according to the study.

What to do? Carpenter advised people to eat fewer animal fats, and Zoeller said the public should become more aware of the risks of the chemicals around them. "There are invisible pollutants like PCBs that can have very significant impact on our health," he said.

"These impacts are not trivial and should not be ignored," Zoeller said. "Because they are invisible, we don't have a choice but to be contaminated with them."

More information:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more details on PCBs.

SOURCES: David O. Carpenter, M.D., director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, N.Y.; R. Thomas Zoeller, Ph.D., professor of biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; July 19, 2010, online, Journal of Hypertension


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Could waiting 2 minutes improve how newborns recover from heart surgery?
2. Rare Blood Vessel Disease Could Have New Treatment Option
3. Could Having a Bigger Head Help Slow Alzheimers?
4. Sleep Apnea Could Raise Heart Risks for Older Men
5. Universal HIV testing and immediate treatment could reduce but not eliminate HIV/AIDS epidemic
6. Could Hot Weather Affect Results of a Colorectal Cancer Test?
7. Childhood malnutrition could weaken brain function in elderly
8. Testosterone Gel Could Raise Heart Risks in Frail, Older Men
9. Electronic health records could give rise to more liability risk
10. Patients Could Use More Help Quitting Smoking
11. Fresh findings about chickenpox could lead to better blood tests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Could PCBs Help Boost Blood Pressure?
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Occupational pesticide exposure is linked to an ... according to a study released today at the 1st Pan American Parkinson’s and ... pesticides and incidence of sporadic PD through occupational exposure. This latest study, led ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... replacement options at his office, Antoine Dental Center. Currently, patients can get single ... restrictions may apply, but patients can learn more about these offers by contacting ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... An in-depth computational ... the University of Pittsburgh points to eight genes that may explain why susceptibility to ... to the results of a study published today in the journal npj Schizophrenia. ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... In the Health Care IT campaign, Robert Herjavec discusses health IT ... you will be attacked, but when.” However, he and many others involved highlight a ... Improvements in auditing and monitoring have taken security in health care a very long ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... The narrative in “ Signal 8: An Australian Paramedic’s Story ” ... paramedic experiences. Schanssema describes the tragedies he saw, as well as his struggles with ... Schanssema, initially unsure of the career path he wanted to take, found fulfillment in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Südkorea, 23. Februar 2017 LG Innotek ... Sterilisationsaufgaben vorgestellt. Die Sterilisationsleistung beträgt das 1,5-fache des 45-mW-Moduls ... Strahlung im Bereich zwischen 200 und 280 nm und eignet ... Bakterien, indem es ihre DNA zerstört. Das Produkt von ... ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017 ITL Limited, ( ASX: ITD ), ... for the half year ended 31 December 2016 compared with the ... presentation can be viewed here . Highlights ... $1.04m; up 104%) Earnings per share of 2.2 ... of $17.5m (Dec 2015: $15.7m; up 11%) Profit ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering. ... The latest research Menopause Drugs Price Analysis and Strategies - 2016, provides ... research answers the following questions: What are ... they positioned in the Global Menopause market? What are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: