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The influence of prenatal exposure to phthalates on subsequent male growth and body composition in adolescence

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Phthalates are ubiquitous environmental chemicals with predominantly anti-androgenic, and potentially obesogenic effects. We hypothesised that antenatal phthalate exposure may influence subsequent boy's growth and body composition through childhood and adolescence. Among 1399 singleton males from the Raine Study, 410 had maternal serum and at least one height, BMI or DEXA outcome available after birth and up to 20 years of age. Maternal serum collected at 18 and 34 weeks' gestation was pooled, and analyzed for concentrations of 32 metabolites of 15 phthalate diesters. Their serum concentrations were categorized into undetectable/detectable levels or tertiles. Linear mixed models were used to determine associations between maternal serum phthalate levels and longitudinal height and body mass index (BMI) z-scores in boys from birth to 20 years of age (n = 250 and n = 295 respectively). Linear regression was used to determine associations between maternal phthalate levels and deviation from mid-parental height (n = 177) and DEXA scan outcomes (n = 191) at the 20 year follow-up. Weak positive associations of participants height z-score increase were detected with exposure to some phthalate metabolites in particular to the lower molecular weight phthalate metabolites. Less consistent findings, by mixed model analyses, were detected for BMI and body composition, by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), with some positive associations of phthalate metabolites with BMI and some negative associations with DEXA fat tissue measures, although no consistent findings were evident. In conclusion, we derived some associations of childhood growth with prenatal phthalate exposure, particularly with respect to the lower molecular weight phthalate metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110313
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume195
Number of pages9
ISSN0013-9351
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

    Research areas

  • Adiposity, Antenatal exposure, Body composition, Boys, Growth, Phthalate metabolites

ID: 62444903