The aim of the present study was to assess the relationship between serum concentrations of several persistent organic pollutants and insulin resistance markers in a cohort of women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus. ∑POPs was computed as the sum of individual serum POP concentrations. No statistically significant associations were found between levels of any POP and fasting glucose. However, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners 138 and 180 were positively associated with 2-h glucose levels and PCB 180 also with fasting immunoreactive insulin (IRI). We also found a positive association of p,p'- dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'- DDE), PCBs (138, 153, and 180), hexachlorobenzene, and ∑POPs with 2-h IRI. Serum concentrations of PCBs (138, 153, and 180), hexachlorobenzene, and ∑POPs were also positively associated with homeostasis model assessment (HOMA2-IR) levels. Moreover, p,p'- DDE, PCBs (138, 153 and 180), hexachlorobenzene, and ∑POPs were negatively associated with Insulin Sensitivity Index (ISI-gly) levels. No significant association was found between glycated hemoglobin and the concentrations of any POP. The removal of women under blood glucose lowering treatment from the models strengthened most of the associations previously found for the whole population. Our findings suggest that exposure to certain POPs is a modifiable risk factor contributing to insulin resistance.
Keywords: Homeostasis model assessment; Insulin Sensitivity Index; Insulin resistance; Organochlorine pesticides; Persistent organic pollutants; Polychlorinated biphenyls.
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