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. 2019 Mar;84:32-38.
doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.12.008. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Reproductive and Hormone-Related Outcomes in Women Whose Mothers Were Exposed in Utero to Diethylstilbestrol (DES): A Report From the US National Cancer Institute DES Third Generation Study

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Free PMC article

Reproductive and Hormone-Related Outcomes in Women Whose Mothers Were Exposed in Utero to Diethylstilbestrol (DES): A Report From the US National Cancer Institute DES Third Generation Study

Linda Titus et al. Reprod Toxicol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Animal studies suggest that prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES) causes epigenetic alterations in primordial germ cells that affect the next generation, but human studies are sparse.

Methods: We assessed hormonally mediated outcomes in third generation women whose mothers were prenatally DES-exposed and unexposed.

Results: Compared to the unexposed, DES-exposed third generation women had an increased risk of irregular menses and amenorrhea; the respective prevalence ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) in follow-up data were 1.32 (95% CI: 1.10, 1.60) and 1.26 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.49); associations were more apparent in third generation women whose prenatally DES-exposed mothers were affected by vaginal epithelial changes. The follow-up data also indicated an association with preterm delivery (relative risk (RR): 1.54; 95% CI: 1.35, 1.75).

Conclusion: DES third generation women may have an increased risk of irregular menstrual cycles, amenorrhea, and preterm delivery, consistent with inter-generational effects of endocrine disrupting chemical exposure in humans.

Keywords: DES; Diethylstilbestrol; Epigenetic; Granddaughters; Intergenerational; Third generation women.

Conflict of interest statement

There are no conflicts of interest to report.

Figures

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Diagram showing Third Generation Study women in the present analysis (dark gray).

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