Determinants of p,p-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDE) concentration in adipose tissue in women from five European cities

Arch Environ Health. Jul-Aug 1999;54(4):277-83. doi: 10.1080/00039899909602486.


To identify the determinants of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (p,p'-DDE) in adipose tissue in subjects who participated in a cross-sectional study, we analyzed fatty acids, antioxidants, and p,p'-DDE in aspirates of adipose tissue of 328 postmenopausal women from 5 European countries. The overall mean of p,p'-DDE concentration was 1.66 microg/g of fatty acids (95% confidence interval = 1.46, 1.88). In a multiple-regression analysis, the main predictors of log10(p,p'DDE) were center of recruitment (p < .0001), adipose arachidic acid (p = .001), and adipose retinol (p = .04). These factors explained 14.9% of the overall variability of log10(p,p'-DDE). In our subjects, adipose tissue p,p'DDE concentrations were only weakly related with biomarkers reflecting intake of fish and other foods. This result is consistent with the notion that p,p'-DDE exists in different foods and, given the widespread contamination of the food chain, is relatively evenly distributed among foods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry*
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / analysis*
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Europe
  • Fatty Acids / analysis*
  • Female
  • Food Contamination
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / analysis*
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Postmenopause
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health*


  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty Acids
  • Insecticides
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene