Background: Prenatal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may induce weight gain and obesity in children, but the obesogenic effects of mixtures have not been studied.
Objective: We evaluated the associations between pre- and perinatal biomarker concentrations of 27 EDCs and child weight status at 7 years of age.
Methods: In pregnant women enrolled in a Spanish birth cohort study between 2004 and 2006, we measured the concentrations of 10 phthalate metabolites, bisphenol A, cadmium, arsenic, and lead in two maternal pregnancy urine samples; 6 organochlorine compounds in maternal pregnancy serum; mercury in cord blood; and 6 polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners in colostrum. Among 470 children at 7 years, body mass index (BMI) z-scores were calculated, and overweight was defined as BMI > 85th percentile. We estimated associations with EDCs in single-pollutant models and applied principal-component analysis (PCA) on the 27 pollutant concentrations.
Results: In single-pollutant models, HCB (hexachlorobenzene), βHCH (β-hexachlorocyclohexane), and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners 138 and 180 were associated with increased child BMI z-scores; and HCB, βHCH, PCB-138, and DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene) with overweight risk. PCA generated four factors that accounted for 43.4% of the total variance. The organochlorine factor was positively associated with BMI z-scores and with overweight (adjusted RR, tertile 3 vs. 1: 2.59; 95% CI: 1.19, 5.63), and these associations were robust to adjustment for other EDCs. Exposure in the second tertile of the phthalate factor was inversely associated with overweight.
Conclusions: Prenatal exposure to organochlorines was positively associated with overweight at age 7 years in our study population. Other EDCs exposures did not confound this association.