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Prenatal Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Exposure and Body Mass Index in Children Up To 8 Years of Age
  • Published Date:
    Jun 10 2016
  • Source:
    Environ Health Perspect. 124(12):1891-1897.
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    Prenatal exposure to endocrine disruptors has been associated with increased risk of childhood obesity. However, epidemiologic studies on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are limited despite animal studies indicating PBDEs’ potential role as an obesogen.


    We investigated whether maternal concentrations of BDEs 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, and ΣPBDEs during pregnancy were associated with anthropometric measures in children aged 1–8 years.


    We examined 318 mother–child pairs in the Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment (HOME) Study, a birth cohort enrolled from 2003 through 2006 (Cincinnati, OH). Serum PBDEs were measured at 16 ± 3 weeks gestation. We measured child height (1–8 years), weight (1–8 years), body mass index (BMI) (2–8 years), waist circumference (4–8 years), and body fat (8 years). To account for repeated measures, we used linear mixed models and generalized estimating equations to estimate associations between maternal PBDEs and child anthropometric measures.


    We found no statistically significant associations between prenatal PBDEs and height or weight z-score. A 10-fold increase in maternal serum BDE-153 was associated with lower BMI z-score (β = –0.36; 95% CI: –0.60, –0.13) at 2–8 years, smaller waist circumference (β = –1.81 cm; 95% CI: –3.13, –0.50) at 4–8 years, and lower percent body fat (β = –2.37%; 95% CI: –4.21, –0.53) at 8 years. A decrease in waist circumference at 4–8 years was observed with a 10-fold increase in BDE-100 (β = –1.50 cm; 95% CI: –2.93, –0.08) and ΣPBDEs (β = –1.57 cm; 95% CI: –3.11, –0.02).


    Reverse causality may have resulted in prenatal PBDEs, particularly BDE-153, and decreased BMI, waist circumference, and body fat.


    Vuong AM, Braun JM, Sjödin A, Webster GM, Yolton K, Lanphear BP, Chen A. 2016. Prenatal polybrominated diphenyl ether exposure and body mass index in children up to 8 years of age. Environ Health Perspect 124:1891–1897; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP139

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