Scientists have found microplastics in the blood vessels of people with atherosclerosis

Scientists have found microplastics in the blood vessels of people with atherosclerosis


Italian scientists discovered microplastics in the arteries of people with atherosclerosisand linked it to risks for patients.

About 60% of the study participants had polyethylene in plaque removed from their arteries. 12% also contained polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic often used in construction.

It also turned out that microplastic increased the risk of heart attack, stroke or death by 4.5 times within 34 months after plaque removal.

Such research results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine, reports Medical News Today.

Atherosclerosis is a cardiovascular disease that occurs when arteries become clogged with excess cholesterol and fat deposits.

People who suffer from atherosclerosis have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, and other ailments such as diabetes, kidney disease, and obesity.

Now researchers at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Italy have discovered another problem with arterial plaque. They may contain microplastics.

The team of scientists carried out the tests under the guidance of Raffaele Marfelli, a professor at the Department of Advanced Medical and Surgical Sciences at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli.

Initially, 304 patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy, an operation to remove plaque or blockage in the lumen of the carotid artery, participated in the study.

The scientists examined the removed plaques for the presence of microplastics and nanoplastics, and then followed the participants for 34 months. There were 257 participants who could be observed for a long time.

In 150 study participants, particles of plastic were found in the plaques. And they had 4.5 times higher risks of cardiovascular disease and death within 34 months after surgery than other people with a similar diagnosis and history of surgery.

The team of scientists admitted that they were surprised by these data, despite the fact that past studies have already shown the harmful effects of plastic pollution in the body.

“The presence of plastic in human atherosclerotic plaques is striking. Unfortunately, the contamination of body tissues with plastic is not a unique phenomenon. Its potential impact on the health of the cardiovascular system is a cause for concern.” – write the authors of the study.

Further research is needed to clarify the risks that microplastics pose to people’s health, particularly those with atherosclerosis. At the same time, researchers call to fight pollution now.

“People need to be aware of the risks we are taking with our lifestyles. We could use less plastic and choose other materials.

I hope that the warning signal of our study will raise the consciousness of citizens, especially governments, so that they finally realize the importance of the health of our planet. Going plastic-free is healthier for both the heart and the planet.” – emphasizes Raffaele Marfelli.

Microplastic are tiny plastic particles up to 5 mm in length that are either intentionally manufactured, such as microbeads and glitter, or produced by the breakdown of plastic products in the environment.

Microplastic enters the body from food, water, air, etc. In particular, a person can consume plastic particles through tap and bottled water, fish and even honey.

According to researchers, Americans ingest 39,000 to 52,000 microplastic particles every year. This leads to negative consequences, in particular, for the hormonal background and the gut microbiome.

In addition to the environment, scientists have already found plastic in human placentas.

We will remind you that earlier we talked about what atherosclerosis is, whether it is possible to “clean” blood vessels, and how breakfast can protect against artery disease.


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