Association of hair polychlorinated biphenyls and multiclass pesticides with obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia in NESCAV study

J Hazard Mater. 2024 Jan 5:461:132637. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.132637. Epub 2023 Sep 27.


Obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia are well-established risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and have been associated with exposure to persistent organic pollutants. However, studies have been lacking as regards effects of non-persistent pesticides on CVD risk factors. Here, we investigated whether background chronic exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and multiclass pesticides were associated with the prevalence of these CVD risk factors in 502 Belgian and 487 Luxembourgish adults aged 18-69 years from the Nutrition, environment and cardiovascular health (NESCAV) study 2007-2013. We used hair analysis to evaluate the chronic internal exposure to three PCBs, seven organochlorine pesticides (OCs) and 18 non-persistent pesticides. We found positive associations of obesity with hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH) and chlorpyrifos, diabetes with pentachlorophenol (PCP), fipronil and fipronil sulfone, hypertension with PCB180 and chlorpyrifos, and dyslipidemia with diflufenican and oxadiazon, among others. However, we also found some inverse associations, such as obesity with PCP, diabetes with γ-HCH, hypertension with diflufenican, and dyslipidemia with chlorpyrifos. These results add to the existing evidence that OC exposure may contribute to the development of CVDs. Additionally, the present study revealed associations between CVD risk factors and chronic environmental exposure to currently used pesticides such as organophosphorus and pyrethroid pesticides.

Keywords: CVD risk factors; Currently used pesticides; Hair analysis; Persistent organic pollutants; Pollutant mixture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases*
  • Chlorpyrifos*
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Dyslipidemias* / chemically induced
  • Dyslipidemias* / epidemiology
  • Environmental Pollutants* / analysis
  • Environmental Pollutants* / toxicity
  • Hair / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated* / analysis
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated* / toxicity
  • Hypertension* / chemically induced
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Obesity / chemically induced
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Pentachlorophenol*
  • Pesticides* / analysis
  • Pesticides* / toxicity
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls* / analysis


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