Association between type 2 diabetes and exposure to chlorinated persistent organic pollutants in Algeria: A case-control study

Chemosphere. 2021 Feb;264(Pt 2):128596. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128596. Epub 2020 Oct 9.


Background: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is alarmingly increasing around the world and its impact exceeds the predictions made by WHO in the early 2000s. Today there is growing scientific evidence that exposure to endocrine disruptors and mainly POPs can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. The main objective of this case-control study is to assess the link between the plasma levels of certain chlorinated persistent organic pollutants, and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the general population of Algeria.

Material and method: The study was conducted on 361 subjects, to whom the plasma levels of selected biomarkers were determined on GC-MS. A logistic regression was performed to examine the prevalence of diabetes in the POPs categories, considering sex, age, BMI, family history of diabetes, smoking and hypertension.

Results: Diabetic subjects had higher plasma concentrations of POPs than non-diabetic subjects. After adjusting for the known risk factors for type 2 diabetes in Algeria, the risk expressed in OR (95% CI) was 12.58 (4.76-33.26) for 4,4'DDE, 3.69 (1.90-7.15) for HCB and 2.28 (1.20-4.39) PCB153. PCB138 and PCB180 showed no significant risk.

Conclusion: This study found that environmental exposure to some POPs is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the studied sample.

Keywords: Endocrine disruptors; Organochlorine pesticides; PCBs; POPs; Type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Algeria / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Environmental Pollutants*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated*
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • Pesticides*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls*


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Pesticides
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls