Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pesticides and incidence of uterine leiomyomata: A prospective ultrasound study

Environ Epidemiol. 2021 Jan 27;5(1):e127. doi: 10.1097/EE9.0000000000000127. eCollection 2021 Feb.


Uterine leiomyomata (UL) are hormone-responsive benign neoplasms. Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) can disrupt hormones involved in UL etiology.

METHODS: The Study of Environmental, Lifestyle, and Fibroids is a Detroit-area prospective cohort of 1693 Black women 23-35 years of age. At baseline and approximately every 20 months for 5 years, women completed questionnaires and underwent transvaginal ultrasounds. Using a case-cohort study design, we selected 729 UL-free participants at baseline and analyzed baseline plasma samples for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBB-153), and OCPs. We used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: Compared with total PBDE plasma concentrations <50th percentile, adjusted HRs for the 50th-74th, 75th-89th, and ≥90th percentiles were 1.00 (95% CI = 0.68, 1.47), 1.04 (95% CI = 0.63, 1.68), and 0.85 (95% CI = 0.48, 1.50), respectively. HRs for PBB-153 plasma concentrations were generally similar to total PBDE plasma concentrations. Compared with total OCP plasma concentrations <50th percentile, HRs for the 50th-74th, 75th-89th, and ≥90th percentiles were 0.86 (95% CI = 0.57, 1.29), 0.73 (95% CI = 0.43, 1.22), and 0.58 (95% CI = 0.32, 1.04), respectively. HRs for individual PBDEs and OCPs were similar to their respective totals.

CONCLUSION: We found little support for an association between brominated flame retardant plasma concentrations and UL incidence, and some evidence of lower UL incidence with the highest OCP plasma concentrations.

PMID:33778359 | PMC:PMC7939431 | DOI:10.1097/EE9.0000000000000127