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Study finds 80 pc microplastics in blood clots behind heart attack, stroke

IANS Apr 15, 2024

A team of scientists in China detected a whopping 80 per cent of microplastics from blood clots that may have contributed to stroke, heart attack, and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Microplastics -- any type of plastic less than 5 mm long -- have long been known as a significant environmental and health concern worldwide.

The new study, published in the journal eBioMedicine, showed that the blood clot samples were found in the cerebral arteries in the brain, coronary arteries in the heart, and deep veins in the lower extremities of 30 patients.

“Microplastics found in 80 per cent of clots retrieved from blood vessels after heart attack, stroke, or deep venous thrombosis. This is really bad news. Plastics are everywhere in modern life,” Tatiana Prowell, Associate Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University in the US, wrote in a post on X.com.

The study stressed the need to accurately investigate the impact of microplastics on human health. It showed that the presence of microplastics may increase the severity of heart attack, stroke, or deep venous thrombosis.

“Our findings suggest that microplastics of different concentrations, polymer types, and physical properties are present in human thrombi (blood clots) and that higher levels of microplastics may be associated with disease severity,” said the researchers from the First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, China.

“Future research with a larger sample size is urgently needed to identify the sources of exposure and validate the observed trends in the study,” they added.

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