‘Forever chemicals’ linked to high blood pressure in women

By Erin Blakemore | The Washington Post | June 20, 2022

Read the full article by Erin Blakemore (The Washington Post)

"Drinking water. Food. Air. Fish. It seems there isn’t any part of the globe that isn’t touched by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), man-made “forever chemicals” that are slow to degrade and whose dangers to humans and animals are being studied.

Now, researchers have linked PFAS to high blood pressure in middle-aged women, adding to the long list of health risks associated with the pollutants.

A study published in the journal Hypertension looked at the health of 1,058 women between ages 45 and 56, analyzing data from annual checkups between 1999 and 2017. All had normal blood pressure when the study began, but over time, 470 patients developed hypertension.

Researchers measured PFAS in the women’s blood at the start of the study period. Women with higher blood concentrations of the chemicals were more likely to develop hypertension than their counterparts.

The risk varied depending on the concentration of different chemicals in the blood. Women with detectable perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), a pollutant once found in products such as Scotchgard and still present in some semiconductors, paints and industrial products, were 42 percent more likely to have high blood pressure than those without exposure. Perfluorooctanoate, also known as C8, was associated with a 47 percent higher risk. It is found in everything from upholstery to clothing and food wrappers."