Background: Phthalates are synthetic chemicals produced in extremely large volumes for a wide variety of uses in personal care and consumer products, including building materials, food packaging, medical devices, toys and cosmetics. Though a few studies have shown that concentrations of phthalate metabolites are associated with obesity and insulin resistance in adults, studies in children are limited.
Objectives: We studied to examine the associations of urine levels of phthalate metabolites with obesity and metabolic parameters in Korean girls.
Methods: A total of 139 girls (67 overweight cases and 72 controls, aged 6 to 13 years) were recruited. Anthropometric indices and body composition analysis were measured, and fasting glucose, insulin, AST, ALT, and lipid profiles were determined. Spot urine samples were collected and phthalate monoesters were analysed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Associations between phthalate exposure and anthropometric indices/metabolic parameters and their trends were examined by multiple linear regression and Logistic regression analyses respectively.
Results: Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) metabolites showed the highest detected concentration (82.5 μg/g creatinine, 100%), and mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP) showed the lowest detected concentration (6.3 μg/g creatinine, 87.8%). There was no significant difference in the concentrations of all phthalate monoesters between overweight and control girls, however, percentage fraction of MEOHP among DEHP metabolites (MEOHP%) were significantly lower in overweight girls than in controls. After adjusting for age, pubertal stages, and height percentile, MEHHP% was positively associated with waist circumference and MEOHP% was negatively associated with body mass index (BMI) percentile. Concentrations of MiBP, MnBP, MEHP, MEHHP, sum of DEHP metabolites, and sum of high molecular weight phthalates (HMP) were positively associated with serum ALT. Concentrations of MiBP were also positively associated with total cholesterol/LDL-cholesterol levels. After controlling for age and pubertal stages, MEHHP% was positively associated with fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, whereas MEOHP% was negatively associated with fasting insulin and HOMA-IR. However, after further adjustment for BMI percentile, the significant associations were remained only for MEOHP%.
Conclusions: Urinary concentrations of several phthalate metabolites were positively associated with serum ALT levels, and MEOHP% was negatively associated with insulin resistance. Prospective studies are needed to determine potential causal links between phthalate exposure and metabolic derangement in children.
01 Oct 2015 - 03 Oct 2015