Background: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical suspected of causing endocrine and metabolic disruption in animals and humans. In rodents, in utero exposure to low-dose BPA is associated with weight gain. Detectable levels of BPA are found in most Americans due to its widespread use in the manufacture of food and drink packaging. We hypothesized that urinary BPA concentrations would be positively associated with general and central obesity.
Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of urinary BPA concentrations, body mass index, and waist circumference in 2747 adults (aged 18-74), using pooled data from the 2003/04 and 2005/06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.
Results: The creatinine-adjusted geometric mean urinary BPA concentration was 2.05μg/g creatinine (25th percentile: 1.18, 75% percentile: 3.33). Relative to those in the lowest BPA quartile, participants in the upper BPA quartiles were more likely to be classified as obese (quartile 2 odds ratio (OR): 1.85, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22, 2.79; quartile 3 OR: 1.60, 95% CI: 1.05-2.44; quartile 4 OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.06-2.94). Higher BPA concentration was also associated with abdominal obesity (quartile 2 OR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.11, 2.36; quartile 3 OR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.02-1.90; quartile 4 OR: 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03-2.42).
Conclusions: Higher BPA exposure is associated with general and central obesity in the general adult population of the United States. Reverse causation is of concern due to the cross-sectional nature of this study; longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the direction of the association.
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