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Cookware, Cleaning Products Could Help Avoid Heart Disease

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 6/5/2019 Darwin Malicdem

Non-stick cookware and cleaning products are not just common household materials. They may soon help scientists develop new treatments for people suffering from diabetes. 

A new study shows that the products as well as paint contain chemicals that could help reduce the risk of heart disease in diabetic adults. Researchers at West Virginia University discovered the surprising effects of perfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances after analysis of health of over 5,200 adults. 

PFAS is known for being harmful chemicals linked to cancer and liver problems. However, the new WVU study found the positive effects of the chemicals. The diabetic adults exposed to PFAS that came from household products were found to have lower rates of coronary heart disease. 

For the study, the researchers analyzed PFAS levels in the blood of participants and other factors that may contribute to development of heart disease. They collected data from C8 Health Project, a community-based study launched in 2005 to address potential health effects of contamination of West Virginia and Ohio drinking water with PFAS.

The team found that of the 5,270 participants, 1,489 had coronary heart disease while the other 3,781 PFAS-exposed people stayed without the disease. 

"In this cross-sectional study of adults with diabetes, the likelihood of reporting a diagnosis of coronary heart disease declined with increasing blood levels of four PFAS after adjustment for demographics, BMI and other factors," Kim Innes, one of the researchers from the WVU School of Public Health, said in a statement

However, Innes and her team did not determine how PFAS exactly cut heart disease risk. The researchers believe the chemicals potentially helped reduce inflammation or increase the body's sensitivity to insulin or ability to transport oxygen, which all could promote better heart health.

"The next step will be to conduct additional longitudinal studies in the C8 and other cohorts in order to assess the relation of baseline PFAS blood levels to subsequent risk for incident coronary heart disease in those with and without diabetes," Innes said. "Such research will help determine if the inverse association observed in this study might reflect a causal association between PFAS and the development of coronary heart disease."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention marked PFAS as a public health threat. The chemicals have been removed from the manufacturing industry after discovery of its bad effects. 

Innes noted despite the positive effects of the chemicals found in their study, it should not be considered to be used in drinking water or environment.

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