Associations of plasma concentrations of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene and polychlorinated biphenyls with prostate cancer: a case-control study in Guadeloupe (French West Indies)

Environ Health Perspect. 2015 Apr;123(4):317-23. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1408407. Epub 2014 Nov 21.


Background: Long-term exposure to persistent pollutants with hormonal properties (endocrine-disrupting chemicals; EDCs) may contribute to the risk of prostate cancer (PCa). However, epidemiological evidence remains limited.

Objectives: We investigated the relationship between PCa and plasma concentrations of universally widespread pollutants, in particular p,p'-dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene (DDE) and the non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl congener 153 (PCB-153).

Methods: We evaluated 576 men with newly diagnosed PCa (before treatment) and 655 controls in Guadeloupe (French West Indies). Exposure was analyzed according to case-control status. Associations were assessed by unconditional logistic regression analysis, controlling for confounding factors. Missing data were handled by multiple imputation.

Results: We estimated a significant positive association between DDE and PCa [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.53; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.30 for the highest vs. lowest quintile of exposure; p trend = 0.01]. PCB-153 was inversely associated with PCa (OR = 0.30; 95% CI: 0.19, 0.47 for the highest vs. lowest quintile of exposure values; p trend < 0.001). Also, PCB-153 was more strongly associated with low-grade than with high-grade PCa.

Conclusions: Associations of PCa with DDE and PCB-153 were in opposite directions. This may reflect differences in the mechanisms of action of these EDCs; and although our findings need to be replicated in other populations, they are consistent with complex effects of EDCs on human health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / blood*
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / toxicity
  • Endocrine Disruptors / toxicity
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Guadeloupe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / blood*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / toxicity
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls