Microplastics in blood linked to double risk of heart disease

Published 30 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Participants with pieces of plastic in the walls of their blood vessels had a significantly increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.

Nearly 60% of patients had microplastics in their arteries, according to an Italian study. At the same time, researchers found that microplastics in the blood doubled the risk of heart disease.

In recent years, research has shown that microplastics are polluting the environment and water around the world. Plastics have also entered the bodies of humans and animals, with microplastics found in the brain, lungs, breast milk, placenta and even the bloodstream. Researchers have also found micro- and nanoplastics in deposits inside the walls of human blood vessels.

A new study from the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Italy has investigated whether atherosclerotic plaque may also contain microplastics. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty deposits build up inside the arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow.

The researchers examined samples from 257 patients who had been hospitalized to have such tissue removed from large arteries in the neck. The samples were then tested for micro- and nanoparticles from 11 different plastics. The results, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, showed that 58.4% of the patients had polyethylene particles in their collections. Meanwhile, 12.1% had significant traces of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Stroke and death

In addition, the researchers followed all the patients for about three years to see if there was a link between the plastic particles in the blood vessel walls and cardiovascular disease. The results showed that participants who had pieces of plastic in the deposits of their arteries were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, and death compared to participants without plastic in their deposits.

It is also worth noting that participants who had plastic in their blood vessels showed more signs of inflammation in their bodies compared to those without microplastics in their blood vessels.

A recent Chinese study showed that boiling tap water can reduce the amount of microplastics in the water. Boiling hard water removed up to 90 percent of the plastics.

TNT is truly independent!

We don’t have a billionaire owner, and our unique reader-funded model keeps us free from political or corporate influence. This means we can fearlessly report the facts and shine a light on the misdeeds of those in power.

Consider a donation to keep our independent journalism running…