Hyperuricemia after exposure to polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans near a highly contaminated area

Epidemiology. 2013 Jul;24(4):582-9. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e318294ef68.


Background: Hyperuricemia (too much uric acid in the blood) is the predisposing condition for gout and is associated with hypertriglyceridemia, diabetes mellitus, and coronary artery disease. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzo-furans (PCDD/Fs) cause renal toxicity and elevate uric acid. The aim of this analysis was to investigate and clarify the effect of moderate-to-high PCDD/F exposure on hyperuricemia risk.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 1531 healthy participants living near a deserted pentachlorophenol factory. We measured serum levels of 17 2,3,7,8-substituted PCDD/Fs, and then examined associations between the main predictor variable, serum TEQ(DF-2005) (total PCDD/Fs 2005 World Health Organization [WHO] toxic equivalency [TEQ]), and dependent variables such as uric acid, glomerular filtration rates, and hyperuricemia risk.

Results: We observed a strong monotonic inverse relationship between serum TEQ(DF-2005) quartiles and the estimated glomerular filtration rate after adjusting for confounding factors (Men: β were 0, -4.7, -6.2, and -14.8; Women: β were 0, -6.7, -12.9, and -21.5). In addition, we observed a suggestive positive trend between serum TEQDF-2005 quartiles and uric acid only in men after adjusting for confounding factors (Men: β were 0, 0.40, 0.36, and 0.59; P for trend <0.05). Men with serum TEQ(DF-2005) higher than the reference group's (<7.4 pg WHO(2005)-TEQ(DF/g) lipid) had a higher hyperuricemia risk after adjusting for confounding factors (25th to <50th percentile, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.20 [95% confidence interval {CI} = 1.30-3.73]; 50th to <75th percentile, AOR = 1.86 [95% CI = 1.08-3.22]; ≥ 75th percentile, AOR = 3.00 [95% CI = 1.69-5.31]).

Conclusions: We conclude that serum TEQ(DF-2005) is an important determinant of serum uric acid levels and heightens the risk of hyperuricemia in general populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Benzofurans / adverse effects*
  • Benzofurans / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperuricemia / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / adverse effects
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analogs & derivatives*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / blood
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Benzofurans
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • dibenzofuran