Common chemical, heart disease linked

High levels of PFOA linked to heart disease, stroke

A chemical commonly used as a water and oil repellent in products like food containers, jackets and carpet has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

A study conducted by the West Virginia University School of Public Health analyzed data from a survey that questioned 1,216 people who had blood tests about their history of disease, finding those with the highest levels of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, were about twice as likely to report heart problems or strokes, according to Reuters.

Dr. Anoop Shankar, the study’s lead researcher, noted the findings aren’t conclusive because people with heart disease may develop kidney problems as a result, making it more difficult to clear chemicals like PFOA from the blood.

Previous research found that nearly all Americans have some traces of PFOA in their blood.