Serum PBDEs and age at menarche in adolescent girls: Analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004

Aimin Chen, Ethan Chung, Emily A. DeFranco, Susan M. Pinney, Kim N. Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), widely used as flame retardants since the 1970s, have exhibited endocrine disruption in experimental studies. Tetra- to hexa-BDE congeners are estrogenic, while hepta-BDE and 6-OH-BDE-47 are antiestrogenic. Most PBDEs also have antiandrogenic activity. It is not clear, however, whether PBDEs affect human reproduction. Objectives: The analysis was designed to investigate the potential endocrine disruption of PBDEs on the age at menarche in adolescent girls. Methods: We analyzed the data from a sample of 271 adolescent girls (age 12-19 years) in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2003-2004. We estimated the associations between individual and total serum BDEs (BDE-28, -47, -99, -100, -153, and -154, lipid adjusted) and mean age at menarche. We also calculated the risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for menarche prior to age 12 years in relation to PBDE exposure. Results: The median total serum BDE concentration was 44.7. ng/g lipid. Higher serum PBDE concentrations were associated with slightly earlier ages at menarche. Each natural log unit of total BDEs was related to a change of -0.10 (95% CI: -0.33, 0.13) years of age at menarche and a RR of 1.60 (95% CI: 1.12, 2.28) for experiencing menarche before 12 years of age, after adjustment for potential confounders. Conclusion: These data suggest high concentrations of serum PBDEs during adolescence are associated with a younger age of menarche.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-837
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume111
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Environmental exposure
  • Female
  • Menarche
  • NHANES
  • PBDEs
  • Puberty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science

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