Adipose tissue concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and the risk of prostate cancer

J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Jul;48(7):700-7. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000205989.46603.43.


Objective: We sought to study the concentrations of certain persistent organic pollutants with endocrine-disrupting properties in cases with prostate cancer and controls with benign prostate hyperplasia.

Methods: Adipose tissue was obtained from 58 cases and 20 controls.

Results: The median concentration among controls was used as cut-off in the statistical analysis. In the total material, a greater-than median concentration of PCB congener 153 yielded an odds ratio (OR) of 3.15 and 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.04-9.54 and one chlordane type, trans-chlordane, yielded OR 3.49 (95% CI = 1.08-11.2). In the group of case subjects with PSA levels greater than the median level of 16.5 ng/mL, PCB 153 was OR 30.3 (95% CI = 3.24-284), hexachlorobenzene OR = 9.84 (95% CI = 1.99-48.5), trans-chlordane OR = 11.0 (95% CI = 1.87-64.9), and the chlordane-type MC6 OR = 7.58 (95% CI = 1.65-34.9). The grouping of PCBs according to structural and biological activity was found to produce significantly increased risks for enzyme and phenobarbital-inducing PCBs and lower chlorinated PCBs in the case group with PSA levels greater than 16.5 ng/mL.

Conclusions: These chemicals might be of etiologic significance but need to be further investigated. The biological relevance of the arbitrary cut-off point of PSA is unclear.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / metabolism
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / analysis
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / etiology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • State Medicine
  • Sweden


  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen