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.

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