Background: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are widely used as flame retardants and have shown endocrine disruption properties in experimental studies. Preliminary studies in animal models have suggested a link between exposure to PBDE and alterations of puberty and reproduction.
Objective and hypotheses: To investigate the association between the exposure to PBDEs and alterations of puberty in girls, referred for idiopathic premature thelarche (IPT) and idiopathic central precocious puberty (ICPP).
Method: A case control study was conducted in 124 girls, subdivided into three groups: 37 girls with ICPP (mean age 7.4±0.9), 56 with IPT (mean age 5.7±2.1) and 31 controls (mean age 5.4±1.9). PBDE (PBDE-47+PBDE-99+PBDE-28+PBDE-100+PBDE-153) serum concentrations, hormone levels and anthropometry were assessed. In a subgroup of 36 girls (11 ICPP, 13 IPT, 12 controls) urinary concentrations of PBDE were measured. Individual exposure was evaluated through ad hoc questionnaires providing data life styles, diet and other potential determinants of exposure.
Results: ICPP and IPT girls showed significantly higher levels of serum PBDEs (adjusted for BMI SDS) than controls (P<0.01): median 38.02 ng/g lipid (range 2.68129.85), 44.65 ng/g lipid, (range 1.08941.78) and 17.64 ng/g lipid (range 2.07207.7), respectively. ICPP girls showed significantly higher levels of urine PBDEs than controls (P<0.05). No significant difference in serum and urine PBDE levels between ICPP e IPT girls was found. Questionnaires analysis showed significantly longer time spent at computer in ICPP girls compared to IPT and controls (P<0.001). No significant relationship between serum PBDEs and diet was found.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest, for the first time, that high concentrations of serum PBDEs are associated with idiopathic precocious puberty and idiopathic premature thelarche in girls.
01 - 03 Oct 2015
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology