Thursday, October 16, 2008

C8 levels linked to high cholesterol

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mid-Ohio Valley residents with greater levels of C8 in their blood also tended to have higher levels of cholesterol, according to the first results from a panel studying the chemical's health effects.

The three-person science panel found the risk of higher cholesterol was about 50 percent greater among residents with more C8 in their blood.

Science panel members cautioned that they did not yet know if the increased cholesterol followed C8 exposure or the other way around. C8 levels and cholesterol were measured at the same time, and the panel is doing follow-up studies to try to get more answers.

"Despite the difficulty in interpretation, our findings are a cause for concern, given the fact that high cholesterol is known to be related to heart disease," the science panel said in reports made public late Tuesday.

Lawyers for DuPont and Parkersburg-area residents filed the science panel reports in Wood Circuit Court late Tuesday afternoon. Science panel members scheduled a news conference for Wednesday morning to discuss the findings.

The science panel also found that Parkersburg-area residents had an average of nearly six times more C8 in their blood than the average U.S. population.

And in a third briefing paper, the panel reported that it has so far found no link between C8 exposure and diabetes.

While the diabetes results are new, the other science panel findings generally mirror information already released by West Virginia University researchers who are examining data on more than 70,000 residents who gave blood and medical histories as part of two related reviews of C8's health impacts.

But the science panel's first public release of data comes much later than originally projected. Science panel members had scheduled their initial findings to be made public in early 2007.

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