Association of phthalate exposure with anthropometric indices and blood pressure in first-grade children

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Aug;25(23):23125-23134. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-2447-7. Epub 2018 Jun 2.


We aimed to assess the relationship of urine phthalate metabolite concentrations with anthropometric indices, and blood pressure in first-grade children. We detected 11 phthalate metabolites in urine and estimated anthropometric indices, including skinfold measurements, waist circumference (WC), and body mass index (BMI) in 276 children aged 6-8 years. Multivariate linear regression models were used to assess the associations between urinary phthalate metabolite levels, and anthropometric and blood pressure indices in a gender-specific manner. In boys, a 1-ng/mL increase in monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP) concentration was associated with a 0.027-cm decrease in the skinfold measurement (95% confidence interval [CI], - 0.053 to 0.001), whereas a 1-ng/mL increase in mono-ethyl-phthalate (MEP) concentration was associated with a 0.016-mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure (95% CI, - 0.031 to 0.001). MBzP, mono-(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (MECPP), and MEOHP concentrations were also inversely associated with WC. However, in girls, MEP concentrations were positively associated with chest measurements, but were inversely associated with WC. A 1-ng/mL increase in monomethyl phthalate concentrations was associated with a 0.039-cm increase in skinfold measurements (95% CI, 0.002 to 0.076), whereas a 1-ng/mL increase in MECPP concentrations was associated with a 0.050 cm decrease in skinfold measurements (95% CI, - 0.095 to - 0.005). In this exploratory, cross-sectional analysis, we identified various interesting associations between different phthalate metabolite levels and anthropometric indices, which suggest that some of phthalate metabolite should be considered in addition to the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity.

Keywords: Anthropometric indices; First-grade children; Phthalate exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Phthalic Acids / adverse effects*
  • Sex Factors
  • Skinfold Thickness*
  • Waist Circumference / drug effects*


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Phthalic Acids