Associations of Accumulated Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants With Serum Lipids and Obesity in an Adult Cohort From Southern Spain

Environ Pollut. 2014 Dec;195:9-15. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.08.003. Epub 2014 Aug 30.


The aim of this research was to study the association of the accumulated human exposure to persistent organic pollutants with serum lipid levels and obesity, in a cohort of 298 adults. In the multivariable analyses, HCB concentrations evidenced a significant quadratic association with levels of total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and total serum lipids. Likewise, PCBs 138 and 180 were associated with triglycerides and total serum lipids, and PCB 153 with LDL. HCB, p,p'-DDE, and β-HCH showed quadratic associations with BMI. All quadratic models showed a positive trend at low exposure levels, while the slope decreased or even became negative at higher exposure levels. Additionally, PCB 138 was positively associated with BMI but in a linear manner. Our results suggest a potential relationship between historical POP exposure and serum lipids/obesity, which followed a non-linear pattern in most cases.

Keywords: Obesity; Organochlorine pesticides; Persistent organic pollutants; Polychlorinated biphenyls; Serum lipids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / blood
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Hazardous Substances / blood
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / blood
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / blood
  • Spain / epidemiology


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Lipids
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • 2,2',3',4,4',5-hexachlorobiphenyl
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • beta-hexachlorocyclohexane
  • 2,4,5,2',4',5'-hexachlorobiphenyl