Environmental Health, Environmental Justice
Associations between Urinary Phthalates and Metabolic Syndrome in NHANES 2005-2010
Mefruz Haque (School of Public Health (UMD) EPIB Master's Student)
Phthalates, or phthalate esters, are a large family of endocrine disrupting chemicals primarily used to make plastics more flexible and durable. Previous research has suggested phthalates may be associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, all of which are characterized by metabolic disturbances. However, no prior study has evaluated potential relationships between phthalate exposure and metabolic syndrome (MetS). This study examined the associations between exposure to phthalate metabolites and the prevalence of MetS among 5,409 U.S adults (aged 18 and above) who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005-2010. MetS was defined by the presence of 3 of the following 5 components: waist circumference, fasting blood glucose level, serum triglyceride content, high blood pressure and HDL cholesterol level. Logistic regression was used to assess the associations between 13 urinary phthalate metabolites adjusted for creatinine, and MetS adjusting for age, race, socioeconomic status, smoking behavior and calorie intake. Correlations were calculated to assess the relationship between the 13 phthalate metabolites. Stratified analyses were also conducted to assess gender and racial differences in associations. Of the 13 metabolites, strong positive correlations (r=0,928) existed between mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP) and mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydrohexyl) phthalate(MEHHP), both of which are secondary metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Prevalence of MetS was found to be higher among women (19.8%) then in men (16.8%). Racial differences also existed, with MetS prevalence being higher among Caucasians (13.2%) then African Americans (2.25%) and Hispanics (1.3%). Multivariate analyses are currently underway. This research is expected to contribute to the growing body of evidence regarding phthalate exposure and chronic health outcomes.
Importance to public health: