First year growth in relation to prenatal exposure to endocrine disruptors - a Dutch prospective cohort study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Jul 10;11(7):7001-21. doi: 10.3390/ijerph110707001.


Growth in the first year of life may already be predictive of obesity later in childhood. The objective was to assess the association between prenatal exposure to various endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and child growth during the first year. Dichloro-diphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), mono(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl)phthalate (MECPP), mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl)phthalate (MEHHP), mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl)phthalate (MEOHP), polychlorinated biphenyl-153, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, and perfluoro-octanoic acid were measured in cord plasma or breast milk. Data on weight, length, and head circumference (HC) until 11 months after birth was obtained from 89 mother-child pairs. Mixed models were composed for each health outcome and exposure in quartiles. For MEOHP, boys in quartile 1 had a higher BMI than higher exposed boys (p = 0.029). High DDE exposure was associated with low BMI over time in boys (0.8 kg/m2 difference at 11 m). Boys with high MECPP exposure had a greater HC (1.0 cm difference at 11 m) than other boys (p = 0.047), as did girls in the second quartile of MEHHP (p = 0.018) and DDE (p < 0.001) exposure. In conclusion, exposure to phthalates and DDE was associated with BMI as well as with HC during the first year after birth. These results should be interpreted with caution though, due to the limited sample size.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child Development
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / analysis
  • Endocrine Disruptors / analysis*
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood
  • Head / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Milk, Human / chemistry
  • Netherlands
  • Phthalic Acids / analysis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Phthalic Acids
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • phthalic acid