Phthalate metabolite levels and menopausal hot flashes in midlife women

Reprod Toxicol. 2016 Apr;60:76-81. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2016.02.001. Epub 2016 Feb 8.


During the menopausal transition, a woman's reproductive capacity declines, her hormone milieu changes, and her risk of hot flashes increases. Exposure to phthalates, which can be found in personal care products, can also result in altered reproductive function. Here, we investigated the associations between phthalate metabolite levels and midlife hot flashes. Eligible women (45-54 years of age) provided detailed information on hot flashes history and donated urine samples (n=195). Urinary phthalate metabolite levels were measured by HPLC-MS/MS. A higher total sum of phthalate metabolites commonly found in personal care products was associated with an increased risk of ever experiencing hot flashes (odds ratio (OR)=1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.07-1.96), hot flashes in the past 30days (OR=1.43; 95%CI=1.04-1.96), and more frequent hot flashes (OR=1.47; 95%CI=1.06-2.05). These data suggest that some phthalate exposures from personal care products are associated with menopausal hot flashes in women.

Keywords: Hot flashes; Menopause; Phthalates; Women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cosmetics
  • Environmental Pollutants / urine*
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / epidemiology
  • Hot Flashes / urine*
  • Humans
  • Menopause / urine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phthalic Acids / urine*


  • Cosmetics
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Phthalic Acids