Prepubertal organochlorine pesticide concentrations and age of pubertal onset among Russian boys

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Background: In animal studies, organochlorine pesticide (OCP) exposure alters pubertal development; however, epidemiological data are limited and inconsistent. Objective: To evaluate the associations of serum OCP concentrations [hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), and p,. p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,. p'-DDE)] with male pubertal onset. Methods: In Chapaevsk, Russia, a town environmentally contaminated with OCPs, 350 8-9. year old boys with measured OCPs were enrolled during 2003-2005 and were followed annually for eight years. We evaluated three measures of pubertal onset: testicular volume (TV) > 3. mL in either testis, or stage 2 or greater for genitalia (G2. +), or pubic hair (P2. +). We used multivariable interval-censored models to evaluate associations of OCPs (quartiles) with physician-assessed pubertal onset. Results: In adjusted models, boys with higher HCB concentrations had later mean ages of TV > 3. mL and P2+ (but not G2+). Mean age at attaining TV > 3. mL was delayed 3.6 (95% CI: - 2.6, 9.7), 7.9 (95% CI: 1.7, 14.0), and 4.7. months (95% CI: - 1.4, 10.9) for HCB Q2, Q3, and Q4, respectively, compared to Q1 (trend p: 0.06). Boys with higher HCB concentrations reached P2+ 0.1. months earlier (95% CI: - 5.8, 5.6) for Q2, 4.7. months later (95% CI: - 1.0, 10.3) for Q3 and 4.6. months later (95% CI: - 1.1, 10.3) for Q4 compared to Q1 (trend p: 0.04). There were no associations of serum β-HCH and p,. p'-DDE concentrations with age of pubertal onset. Conclusion: Higher prepubertal serum HCB concentrations were associated with later age of gonadarche and pubarche. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.




Lam, T., Williams, P. L., Lee, M. M., Korrick, S. A., Birnbaum, L. S., Burns, J. S., … Hauser, R. (2014). Prepubertal organochlorine pesticide concentrations and age of pubertal onset among Russian boys. Environment International, 73, 135–142.

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