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Chemicals used to replace BPA may lead to increased blood pressure

Washington, DC March 30, 2020

Common bisphenol A (BPA) substitutes can affect the developing fetus and cause hypertension in later life, suggests a rodent study accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting. The research will be published in a special supplemental section of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) are widely used in the synthesis of plastics and are found in numerous consumer products. Most humans are exposed to BPA on a daily basis. BPA disrupts the body’s endocrine system by mimicking the hormone estrogen. BPA exposure has been linked with high blood pressure.

Based on studies over the last few decades, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2012 banned the use of this chemical in baby bottles and infant formula packaging. Manufacturers often replace BPA with other chemicals such as bisphenol S (BPS) and bisphenol F (BPF). These substitute chemicals are often found in products labeled “BPA free.”

“Cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of mortality among men and women. With the new blood pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association, almost half of the United States population—45.6%—has hypertension,” said study co-author Maryam Hazim Al Mansi of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. “There may be several reasons for this high prevalence of hypertension in our population, but the effect of contaminants is overlooked and understudied.”

In the new study, Al Mansi and colleagues exposed pregnant rats to low levels of saline, BPA, BPS or BPF and followed the development of their offspring. The offspring were implanted with devices to measure their blood pressure. The researchers measured blood pressure once a week for 11 weeks over a 24-hour period. They found systolic (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) were significantly increased in animals exposed to BPA, BPS and BPF compared with those exposed to saline.

“These results suggest that even low-dose exposure to these chemicals can affect blood pressure in the offspring later in life,” said co-author Puliyur S. MohanKumar, B.V.Sc., Ph.D., of the University of Georgia. “It is important to avoid these exposures during pregnancy.”

The Endocrine Society canceled its annual meeting, ENDO 2020, amid concerns about COVID-19. Visit our online newsroom for more information on accepted abstracts, which will be published in a special supplemental section of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

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Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.


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