Associations of environmental exposure to dioxins with prevalent diabetes among general inhabitants in Japan

Environ Res. 2008 Sep;108(1):63-8. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2008.06.002. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations of environmental exposure to dioxins with diabetes among general inhabitants in Japan. A cross-sectional study was performed on 1374 participants, who were not occupationally exposed to dioxins, aged 15-73 years, living widely in 75 different residential areas of 25 prefectures in Japan through 2002-2006. Seven polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), 10 polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), 12 dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are assigned a toxic equivalency factor, and biochemical factors were determined in fasting blood. A questionnaire survey on life-style including past history of diseases and treatments was also performed. We examined the associations of the accumulated toxic equivalents (TEQs) of PCDDs+PCDFs, dioxin-like PCBs and total dioxins with prevalent diabetes. Simple and partial correlation analyses revealed that HbA1c correlated with the accumulated TEQs of PCDDs+PCDFs, dioxin-like PCBs and total dioxins. In logistic regression analyses, the third and the highest quartiles of dioxin-like PCBs had adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of 3.07 (95% CI 1.16-8.81) and 6.82 (95% CI 2.59-20.1) compared to the reference (first plus second quartiles). On the other hand, the highest but not the third quartiles of PCDDs+PCDFs and total dioxins had significantly higher adjusted ORs compared to the respective references. These associations persisted when the subjects with poor liver or poor renal function were removed from the analysis. This recent representative data from general inhabitants in Japan showed associations of environmental exposure to dioxins, especially dioxin-like PCBs, with diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Dioxins / toxicity*
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dioxins