First trimester phthalate exposure and anogenital distance in newborns

In this study, the authors examined whether first trimester phthalate exposure was associated with anogenital distance (AGD), a biomarker of prenatal androgen exposure, in newborns. AGD is a sexually dimorphic measure reflecting prenatal androgen exposure. Prenatal phthalate exposure has been associated with shorter male AGD in multiple animal studies. Prior human studies, which have been limited by small sample size and imprecise timing of exposure and/or outcome, have reported conflicting results. The Infant Development and the Environment Study (TIDES) is a prospective cohort study of pregnant women recruited in prenatal clinics in San Francisco, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Rochester, NY and Seattle, WA in 2010-2012. Participants delivered 787 infants; 753 with complete data are included in this analysis. Any woman over 18 years old who was able to read and write English (or Spanish in CA), who was <13 weeks pregnant, whose pregnancy was not medically threatened and who planned to deliver in a study hospital was eligible to participate. Analyses include all infants whose mothers provided a first trimester urine sample and who were examined at or shortly after birth. Specific gravity (SpG) adjusted concentrations of phthalate metabolites in first trimester urine samples were examined in relation to genital measurements. In boys (N = 366), the authors obtained two measures of anogenital distance (AGD) (anoscrotal distance, or AGDAS and anopenile distance, AGDAP) as well as penile width (PW). In girls (N = 373), anofourchette distance (AGDAF) and anoclitoral distance (AGDAC) was measured. Multivariable regression models that adjusted for the infant's age at exam, gestational age, weight-for-length Z-score, time of day of urine collection, maternal age and study centre were used. The results showed 3 metabolites of DEHP were significantly and inversely associated with both measures of boys' AGD. Associations (?, 95% confidence interval (CI)) between AGDAS and (log10) SpG-adjusted phthalate concentrations were: -1.12 (-2.16, -0.07) for mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), -1.43, (-2.49, -0.38) for mono-2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl phthalate (MEOHP), and -1.28 (-2.29, -0.27) for mono-2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl (MEHHP). Associations were of similar magnitude for AGDAP. Associations were weaker and not statistically significant for PW. No other phthalate metabolites were associated with any genital measurement in boys. No phthalate metabolites were associated with either AGD measure in girls. Exposure assessment was based on a single first trimester urine sample, which may have introduced exposure misclassification. In addition, significant between-centre differences suggest that this measurement is difficult to standardise. The authors concluded that the findings from this study are consistent with multiple rodent studies and most human studies which were far smaller. The reported data suggests that even at current low levels, environmental exposure to DEHP can adversely affect male genital development resulting in reproductive tract changes that may impact reproductive health later in life. These findings have important implications for public policy since most pregnant women are exposed to this ubiquitous chemical. Authors: Swan SH, Sathyanarayana S, Barrett ES, Janssen S, Liu F, Nguyen RH, Redmon JB; the TIDES Study Team. ;Full Source: Human Reproduction. 2015 Feb 18. pii: deu363. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]