Background: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a high production volume chemical widely used in food and drinks packaging. Associations have previously been reported between urinary BPA concentrations and heart disease, diabetes and liver enzymes in adult participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003/04. We aimed to estimate associations between urinary BPA concentrations and health measures in NHANES 2005/06 and in data pooled across collection years.
Methodology and findings: A cross-sectional analysis of NHANES: subjects were n = 1455 (2003/04) and n = 1493 (2005/06) adults aged 18-74 years, representative of the general adult population of the United States. Regression models were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, smoking, BMI, waist circumference, and urinary creatinine concentration. Main outcomes were reported diagnoses of heart attack, coronary heart disease, angina and diabetes and serum liver enzyme levels. Urinary BPA concentrations in 2005/06 (geometric mean 1.79 ng/ml, 95% CI: 1.64 to 1.96) were lower than in 2003/04 (2.49 ng/ml, CI: 2.20 to 2.83, difference p-value = 0.00002). Higher BPA concentrations were associated with coronary heart disease in 2005/06 (OR per z-score increase in BPA = 1.33, 95%CI: 1.01 to 1.75, p = 0.043) and in pooled data (OR = 1.42, CI: 1.17 to 1.72, p = 0.001). Associations with diabetes did not reach significance in 2005/06, but pooled estimates remained significant (OR = 1.24, CI: 1.10 to 1.40, p = 0.001). There was no overall association with gamma glutamyl transferase concentrations, but pooled associations with alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase remained significant.
Conclusions: Higher BPA exposure, reflected in higher urinary concentrations of BPA, is consistently associated with reported heart disease in the general adult population of the USA. Studies to clarify the mechanisms of these associations are urgently needed.