University of Oulu

Han-Bin Huang, Wen-Harn Pan, Jung-Wei Chang, Hung-Che Chiang, Yue Leon Guo, Jouni J.K. Jaakkola, Po-Chin Huang, Does exposure to phthalates influence thyroid function and growth hormone homeostasis? The Taiwan Environmental Survey for Toxicants (TEST) 2013, Environmental Research, Volume 153, 2017, Pages 63-72, ISSN 0013-9351,

Does exposure to phthalates influence thyroid function and growth hormone homeostasis? : the Taiwan environmental survey for toxicants (TEST) 2013

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Author: Huang, Han-Bin1; Pan, Wen-Harn2,3; Chang, Jung-Wei4;
Organizations: 1School of Public Health, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
2Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
3Division of Preventive Medicine and Health Service Research, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan
4Research Center for Environmental Trace Toxic Substances, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
5National Environmental Health Research Center, National Institute of Environmental Health Science, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan
6Institution of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, National Taiwan University College of Public Health, Taipei, Taiwan
7Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
8Medical Research Center, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
9Research Center for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
10Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, National United University, Taiwan
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-07-02


Background: Previous epidemiologic and toxicological studies provide some inconsistent evidence that exposure to phthalates may affect thyroid function and growth hormone homeostasis.

Objective: To assess the relations between exposure to phthalates and indicators of thyroid function and growth hormone homeostasis disturbances both among adults and minors.

Methods: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study of 279 Taiwanese adults (≥18 years old) and 79 minors (<18 years old) in 2013. Exposure assessment was based on urinary biomarkers, 11 phthalate metabolites measured by using online liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Indicators of thyroid function included serum levels of thyroxine (T₄), free T₄, triiodothyronine, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG). Growth hormone homeostasis was measured as the serum levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3). We applied multivariate linear regression models to examine these associations after adjusting for covariates.

Results: Among adults, serum T₄ levels were negatively associated with urinary mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (β=−0.028, P=0.043) and the sum of urinary di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) metabolite (β=−0.045, P=0.017) levels. Free T₄ levels were negatively associated with urinary mono-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) (β=−0.013, P=0.042) and mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (β=−0.030, P=0.003) levels, but positively associated with urinary monoethyl phthalate (β=0.014, P=0.037) after adjustment for age, BMI, gender, urinary creatinine levels, and TBG levels. Postive associations between urinary MEHP levels and IGF-1 levels (β=0.033, P=0.006) were observed. Among minors, free T₄ was positively associated with urinary mono benzyl phthalate levels (β=0.044, P=0.001), and IGF-1 levels were negatively associated with the sum of urinary DEHP metabolite levels (β=−0.166, P=0.041) after adjustment for significant covariance and IGFBP3.

Conclusions: Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to phthalates influences thyroid function and growth hormone homeostasis.

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Series: Environmental research
ISSN: 0013-9351
ISSN-E: 1096-0953
ISSN-L: 0013-9351
Volume: 153
Pages: 63 - 72
DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.11.014
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: We also thank for and funding support by the National Health Research Institutes (Grant nos.: EH-102-PP-05, EH-103-PP-05, EH-104-PP-05 and EM-105-PP-15).
Copyright information: © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license