A chemical widely used in plastic food and drink containers may narrow coronary arteries, raising the risk of heart attacks, research suggests.
High levels of bisphenol-A (BPA) in the urine were seen significantly more often in patients with severe damage to the arteries supplying blood to the heart.
Scientists, led by Professor David Melzer, from the University of Exeter, analysed data from 591 participants in a UK study looking at the causes of coronary artery disease (CAD).BPA levels were significantly higher in those with severe CAD compared with individuals having normal coronary arteries.
BPA is used in refillable drinks containers, compact discs, plastic eating utensils and many other everyday products.
Concerns have previously been raised over the health risks of BPA to babies. In the past two years, the US and EU have banned the chemical from the manufacture of babies' bottles and other feeding equipment.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor that interrupts hormones and, in laboratory experiments on animals, has been linked with breast cancer, prostate cancer, hyperactivity and other metabolic and behavioural problems.