Background: In some previous studies, prenatal exposure to persistent organochlorines such as 1,1,-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p´-DDE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) has been associated with higher body mass index (BMI) in children.
Objective: Our goal was to evaluate the association of maternal serum levels of β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), p,p´-DDE, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p´-DDT), dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, HCB, trans-nonachlor, oxychlordane, and PCBs with offspring obesity during childhood.
Methods: The analysis was based on a subsample of 1,915 children followed until 7 years of age as part of the U.S. Collaborative Perinatal Project (CPP). The CPP enrolled pregnant women in 1959-1965; exposure levels were measured in third-trimester maternal serum that was collected before these organochlorines were banned in the United States. Childhood overweight and obesity were defined using age- and sex-specific cut points for BMI as recommended by the International Obesity Task Force.
Results: Adjusted results did not show clear evidence for an association between organochlorine exposure and obesity; however, a suggestive finding emerged for dieldrin. Compared with those in the lowest quintile (dieldrin, < 0.57 μg/L), odds of obesity were 3.6 (95% CI: 1.3, 10.5) for the fourth and 2.3 (95% CI: 0.8, 7.1) for the highest quintile. Overweight and BMI were unrelated to organochlorine exposure.
Conclusions: In this population with relatively high levels of exposure to organochlorines, no clear associations with obesity or BMI emerged.