Over 80% of Studied Clots Reveal Microplastic Presence—Links to Increased Stroke and Heart Attack Risks Uncovered

May 24, 2024
1 min read
Artist Impression of Microplastic on Finger, Photo Credit: Giganectar, {CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED}
Artist Impression of Microplastic on Finger, Photo Credit: Giganectar, {CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED}

The patients, with an average age of 65, had diverse health and lifestyle histories, including smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, or diabetes. They used plastic products daily and were roughly divided between rural and urban areas.

Microplastics of various shapes and sizes were detected using chemical analysis techniques in 24 of the 30 blood clots studied, at different concentrations. The tests also identified the same types of plastics as those detected in the arterial plaque study: polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PE). The new study also detected polyamide 66 in clots, a common plastic used in fabrics and textiles. Of the 15 types identified in the study, PE was the most common plastic, accounting for 54 percent of the particles tested.

The researchers also found that people with higher levels of microplastics in their blood clots also had higher levels of D-dimer than patients without microplastics detected in thrombi. D-dimer is a protein fragment released when blood clots are broken down; it is not normally present in blood plasma. Therefore, high levels of D-dimer in a blood test may indicate the presence of blood clots, leading researchers to suspect that somehow microplastics could be accumulating in the blood to worsen clotting.

“These findings suggest that microplastics may serve as a potential risk factor associated with vascular health,” said Tingting Wang, a clinical scientist at the First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University School of Medicine in China, and colleagues in their paper. “It would be helpful to identify the exposure sources in future studies with larger sample sizes and thorough investigations into daily aspects involving the consumption or use of microplastic-contaminated products.”

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The study serves as a warning about the potential risks of microplastics to human health, especially in the cardiovascular system. Although the causes of the presence of microplastics in the clots are not yet fully understood, the study highlights the need for future research to identify sources of exposure and validate the results.

Earlier this year, a landmark study reported that microplastics had been found within more than 50 percent of clogged artery fat deposits. It was the first data of its kind to establish a link between microplastics and their impact on human health. 

Tejal Somvanshi

Meet Tejal Somvanshi, a soulful wanderer and a staunch wellness advocate, who elegantly navigates through the enchanting domains of Fashion and Beauty with a natural panache. Her journey, vividly painted with hues from a vibrant past in the media production world, empowers her to carve out stories that slice through the cacophony, where brands morph into characters and marketing gimmicks evolve into intriguing plot twists. To Tejal, travel is not merely an activity; it unfolds as a chapter brimming with adventures and serendipitous tales, while health is not just a regimen but a steadfast companion in her everyday epic. In the realms of fashion and beauty, she discovers her muse, weaving a narrative where each style narrates a story, and every beauty trend sparks a dialogue. Tejal seamlessly melds the spontaneous spirit of the media industry with the eloquent prose of a storyteller, crafting tales as vibrant and dynamic as the industry she thrives in.

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