Researchers led by Leonardo Trasande at NYU Langone Medical Center analyzed more than 2,000 children over a period of six years and found that a common class of pthalates, DEHP (di-2-ethyhexylphthalate), used in industrial food production leads to an increase of one-millimeter mercury of systolic blood pressure among children for every threefold increase in the level of breakdown products of DEHP.
"Phthalates can inhibit the function of cardiac cells and cause oxidative stress that compromises the health of arteries. But no one has explored the relationship between phthalate exposure and heart health in children. We wanted to examine the link between phthalates and childhood blood pressure in particular given the increase in elevated blood pressure in children and the increasing evidence implicating exposure to environmental exposures in early development of disease", Trasande said.
The study has been published in the Journal of Pediatrics.