Association between polychlorinated biphenyl exposure and thyroid hormones: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Christine C. Little, Joshua Barlow, Mathilda Alsen, Maaike van Gerwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To conduct a comprehensive meta-analysis investigating the association between polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure and serum thyroid hormone levels among adults. Methods: Eleven studies met inclusion criteria for analysis following systematic search of PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases. Of these, 7 studies measured exposure by the total sum of PCB congeners (∑PCB), 1 study measured individual PCB congener levels, and 3 studies measured both ∑PCB levels and PCB congener levels. Correlation coefficients (r) were extracted from each study. Summary estimates were calculated for ∑PCB levels and PCB congeners reported by 2 or more studies: PCB 28, 52, 101, 105, 118, 138, 153, and 180, using random effects model. Results: Significant negative correlation was found between ∑PCBs and T3 (r: −0.09; 95% CI: −0.17, −0.02) and FT3 (r: −0.24; 95% CI: −0.36, −0.12). Congener-specific analysis found T3 to be negatively correlated with PCB-153 (r: −0.19; 95% CI: −0.34, −0.03) and PCB-180 (r: −0.14; 95% CI: −0.26, −0.01), whereas TSH was positively correlated with PCB-105 (r: 0.15; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.28). Conclusions: The present study is the first meta-analysis to investigate the association between PCB exposure and thyroid hormone dysfunction among adults. Results suggest a significant association between PCB exposure and thyroid hormone dysregulation.

Keywords

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • thyroid disruption
  • thyroid stimulating hormone
  • thyroxine
  • triiodothyronine

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