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New evidence of how BPA could harm kidneys and heart

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
BPA that lines aluminum cans linked to kidney and heart risks.

If you have been following news about BPA and how it might contribute to a variety of adverse health effects, you might be interested in a new study showing the chemical could cause harm to children. New findings suggest bisphenol A could affect heart and kidney health among children.

Researchers have linked yet another potential health harm of BPA (bisphenol A) by comparing levels of the chemical found in the urine of children and adolescents to lab test results that signal kidney damage and increased risk of coronary artery disease.

Specifically, children exposed to even low levels of the chemical were found to have albumin in the urine. What that means is damage to the kidney filtration system.

Researchers suggest the finding could have important implications for children who already have kidney disease.

The study came from investigators at NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine and was co-authored by Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and population health.

Trasande says the study doesn’t prove the chemical leads to heart and kidney disease in children, though it does support the need to limit exposure.

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The chemical is banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but is still used to line aluminum cans.

Past studies link BPA to obesity which is also a known risk for coronary heart disease. Other concerns about the chemical include higher risk for cancer and development problems in children.

Data analyzed for the study included children and adolescents age 6 to 19 who participated in the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

The researchers didn’t include children with current kidney disease. Because the finding showed the chemical is associated with kidney damage and higher albumin to creatinine ratio in the blood stream that could me higher risk of heart disease in the future.

The research group would like to see BPA removed from aluminum cans, based on multiple studies that show Bisphenol A disrupts metabolism. Dr. Trasande also suggests increased recognition of the role chemicals in the environment can play in boosting heart disease risk rather than focusing primarily on dietary risk factors.

The authors concluded the finding adds to the adverse health effects of BPA that supports efforts to prevent exposure to the chemical. More studies are needed to gauge the risks of the chemical for potential harm among children and adolescents with existing kidney disease. More than 90% of Americans are exposed to some level of BPA.

Kidney International , (9 January 2013) | doi:10.1038/ki.2012.422

Image credit: Morguefile