Plasma concentrations of lipophilic persistent organic pollutants and glucose homeostasis in youth populations

Brittney O. Baumert, Jesse A. Goodrich, Xin Hu, Douglas I. Walker, Tanya L. Alderete, Zhanghua Chen, Damaskini Valvi, Sarah Rock, Kiros Berhane, Frank D. Gilliland, Michael I. Goran, Dean P. Jones, David V. Conti, Leda Chatzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Exposure to lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is ubiquitous. POPs are metabolic disrupting chemicals and are potentially diabetogenic. Methods: Using a multi-cohort study including overweight adolescents from the Study of Latino Adolescents at Risk (SOLAR, N = 301, 2001–2012) and young adults from the Southern California Children's Health Study (CHS, N = 135, 2014–2018), we examined associations of POPs and risk factors for type 2 diabetes. SOLAR participants underwent annual visits for a median of 2.2 years and CHS participants performed a single visit, during which a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test was performed. Linear mixed models were used to examine associations between plasma concentrations of POPs [4,4′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (4,4′-DDE), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), PCBs-153, 138, 118, 180 and PBDEs-154, 153, 100, 85, 47] and changes in glucose homeostasis across age and pubertal stage. Results: In SOLAR, exposure to HCB, PCB-118, and PBDE-153 was associated with dysregulated glucose metabolism. For example, each two-fold increase in HCB was associated with approximately 2 mg/dL higher glucose concentrations at 30 min (p = 0.001), 45 min (p = 0.0006), and 60 min (p = 0.03) post glucose challenge. Compared to individuals with low levels of PCB-118, individuals with high levels exhibited a 4.7 mg/dL (p = 0.02) higher glucose concentration at 15 min and a 3.6 mg/dL (p = 0.01) higher glucose concentration at 30 min. The effects observed with exposure to organochlorine compounds were independent of pubertal stages. PBDE-153 was associated with the development of dysregulated glucose metabolism beginning in late puberty. At Tanner stage 4, exposure to PBDE-153 was associated with a 12.7 mg/dL higher 60-min glucose concentration (p = 0.009) and a 16.1 mg*dl−1*hr−1 higher glucose AUC (p = 0.01). These associations persisted at Tanner 5. In CHS, PBDE-153 and total PBDE were associated with similar increases in glucose concentrations. Conclusion: Our results suggest that childhood exposure to lipophilic POPs is associated with dysregulated glucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113296
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Flame retardants
  • Obesogens
  • Organochlorines
  • Pesticides
  • Polybrominated compounds
  • Type II diabetes


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