Previous evidence suggests the potential for adverse effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on metabolic health even at low-dose exposure levels common among the general population, but there is less evidence of these associations among children. Therefore, as part of a prospective cohort study, 214 children were measured for POPs exposure. After the 1-year follow-up, we assessed the effect of circulating POPs exposure among 158 children aged 7-9 years (at baseline) on the change of metabolic components of metabolic syndrome using multiple regression analysis. In addition, we calculated the continuous metabolic syndrome (cMetS) score and assessed the variation among individuals by POPs exposure. The concentrations of marker polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were significantly associated with increased change in diastolic blood pressure (BP) and triglyceride levels during a 1-year follow-up, after controlling for sex, age, household income, and change in body mass index. Total PCBs also showed a marginal association with increasing cMetS score from the baseline. Of the metabolic components, change in diastolic BP over time showed a notable association with specific PCBs, but no association with organochlorine pesticides. Here, we found that low-dose exposures to PCBs among children in the general population could negatively influence metabolic health, particularly diastolic BP. Increased disease sensitivity during childhood can continue to adulthood, thus, these results support the need for continuous assessment of the health impact of POPs.
Keywords: children; cohort study; metabolic syndrome; persistent organic pollutants.