New research reveals that the chemical known as PFOA may be linked with heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.


The study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, is based on data from more than 1,200 men and women in their 50s, collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Participants were divided into four groups depending on the chemical levels found in their bloodstream, and asked to report if they had heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. They were also tested for peripheral artery disease, a narrowing of blood vessels outside the heart due to plaque buildup.

Compared to those in the lowest PFOA group, those in the highest were two times as likely to have cardiovascular disease and nearly two times as likely to have peripheral artery disease. The findings also revealed that as the blood levels of PFOA increased, so did cardiovascular disease and peripheral artery disease. This held even after taking into account risk factors such as age, sex, race, smoking status, and diabetes.

PFOA is used to make lubricants, polishes, paper and textile coatings, food packaging, and fire-retardant foams. Levels of this chemical have been found in the blood of more than 98% of Americans, and the chemical can remain in the body for years.