Microplastics Found in Blood Clots Linked to Heart Attack and Stroke Severity 

United States: In a recent study from the beginning of this year, it was revealed that microplastics, which are small particles of plastic debris originating from larger fragments, were found in over half of the fatty tissue specimens taken from the arteries. 

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A new scientific paper from researchers in China has used both animal experiments and clinical observations to show that the microplastics have been detected in the blood clots that are surgically resected from the arteries of the heart and the brain, as well as the deep veins of the lower legs, as sciencealert.com reported. 

It is a limited study with only 30 patients, far less than 257 patients for 34 months, in the published study of arterial plaque in March. 

Microplastics Found in Blood Clots Linked to Heart Attack and Stroke Severity. Credit | Getty Images
Microplastics Found in Blood Clots Linked to Heart Attack and Stroke Severity. Credit | Getty Images

More about the study’s finding 

But similar to how the team led from Italy found that having microplastics in plaques increased the susceptibility of people to have a heart attack or a stroke in the subsequent days, the Chinese team also found that having great levels of microplastics in blood clots linked to the disease was associated with higher disease severity. 

The patients in the study were 30 in number, and they underwent surgery for the extraction of blood clots following a stroke, heart attack, or deep vein thrombosis, which is characterized by the formation of clots inside deep veins, most often in the limbs or the pelvic region, sciencealert.com reported. 

Typically, the patients were 65 years old, but several had different health histories and lifestyles or smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, or diabetes. They frequently employed plastics and were differentiated by region, with slightly more living in rural settings. 

The microplastic particles were found to consist of different shapes and size, and found to be present at different proportions in all the 30 blood clots analysed using chemical assays. 

Testing also identified the same types of plastics as those detected in the Italian-led study of arterial plaques: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and Polyethylene (PE) for the outer two layers and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or other suitable material for the third layer, as sciencealert.com reported. 

This is not a big shock since PVC –a type of plastic commonly found in construction– and PE, which is mainly used in bottles and shopping bags, are among the well-known types of plastics produced globally.