skip to Main Content

Urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in relation to anthropometric measures and pubertal development in a cohort of Northern California girls

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of ubiquitous, environmental chemicals that may have endocrine disrupting capabilities. We investigated whether childhood exposure to PAHs was associated with adiposity and pubertal timing in a longitudinal study of 404 girls enrolled in the Northern California site of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program cohort. Baseline urinary samples from girls aged 6-8-years-old were assayed for 2-naphthol, fluorene metabolites, phenanthrene metabolites, 1-hydroxypyrene, and sum of PAH metabolites. Mixed-effects linear models were used to estimate how concentrations of PAH metabolites were related to changes in girl’s body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio from age 7 through 16 years old. Accelerated failure time models were used to estimate age of pubertal onset (Tanner stages 2 or higher for breast and pubic hair development). Higher adiposity measurements among high tertiles of baseline PAH metabolites were evident at age 7 years old and increased thereafter (i.e., BMI for all PAH metabolites, waist-to-height ratio for fluorene and phenanthrene metabolites) or leveled off (i.e., waist-to-height ratio for 2-naphthol, 1-hydroxypyrene, sum of PAHs). Among girls overweight/obese at baseline, median age of breast development onset for high tertiles was 9.1-9.4 years old compared with 10-10.2 years old for low tertiles for all PAH metabolites; in contrast, found no association or slightly later onset of breast development for girls with normal weight at baseline. These results suggest that exposure to specific PAHs during childhood may influence adiposity throughout adolescence and effect pubertal timing.

Authors: Dobraca, Dina; Laurent, Cecile A; Greenspan, Louise C; Hiatt, Robert A; Sjödin, Andreas; Kushi, Lawrence H; Windham, Gayle C

Environ Epidemiol. 2020 Aug;4(4):e0102. Epub 2020-07-06.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top