Background: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are endocrine disruptors and have been suggested as possible risk factors for diabetes. Few studies have been performed to investigate this association among children.
Objectives: In this study, we prospectively examined the relationship between the serum concentration of POPs and glucose metabolism in children.
Methods: Data were collected from the Ewha Birth & Growth Cohort Study, an ongoing birth cohort study initially constructed between 2001 and 2006. In 2010-2012, the POP concentration was measured in serum from a total of 214 children, 7-9 years of age. Using fasting glucose and insulin measurements at both baseline and the second year of follow-up, the homeostatic model assessment of beta-cell function (HOMA-β) and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were calculated. Multiple linear regression analysis and a linear mixed-effects model were used to determine the relationship between POP tertiles and metabolic biomarkers.
Results: Compared with the lowest tertile of total marker PCBs, participants in the third tertile had decreased HOMA-β values, after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index z-score, mother's education, ponderal index, and history of breastfeeding (-18.94%; 95% CI: -32.97%, -1.98%). In a linear mixed model, the HOMA-β values were still lower in subjects in the highest compared with the lowest tertile of total PCBs at the 2-year follow-up period (108.3 vs. 135.0, respectively).
Conclusion: The results of the study suggested that exposure to POPs among children might affect insulin secretory function, which could lead to an increased risk of developing diabetes. Citation: Park SH, Ha EH, Hong YS, Park H. 2016. Serum levels of persistent organic pollutants and insulin secretion among children age 7-9 years: a prospective cohort study. Environ Health Perspect 124:1924-1930; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP147.