Associations between organochlorine pesticide mixtures and sex steroid hormones modified by age, gender and body mass index in the US 2011-2016: a quantile-based g-computation approach

Juwel Rana, Angela Nyamekye Osei, Divine-Favour Ofili, Edgar Ortiz-Brizuela, Rakibul M. Islam, Alexander Keil

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Toxicological studies have shown adverse effects of organochlorine pesticides on reproductive function in animals; however, human studies are limited and mostly on a single pesticide. This study, therefore, examined the combined effects of lipid-adjusted serum concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and sex hormones in the US and to what extent these associations vary by age, gender, and body mass index (BMI). METHODS: We have used six years of repeated cross-sectional data that consist of three consecutive National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles from 2011 to 2016. Serum concentrations of seven organochlorine pesticides (β-hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene, oxychlordane, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethene, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane, trans-Nonachlor, and Mirex) were used as mixtures. The sex hormones considered were testosterone in nmol/L (n=798), estradiol in pmol/L (n=528 in), sex hormone-binding globulin -SHBG in nmol/L (n=497), and testosterone/estradiol in pg/mL (n=528). Quantile-based g-computation method was used for mixture effects, adjusting for potential confounders, and survey design. RESULTS: Results showed that lipid-adjusted pesticide mixtures had an inverse association with testosterone (β=-1.02, 95% CI: -1.81, -0.23; p= 0.012), estradiol (β= -663.16, 95% CI: -1232.09, -94.23, p= 0.022), SHBG (β= -14.62, 95% CI: -32.00, 2.77, p=0.100) and testosterone/estradiol (β= -3.06, 95% CI: -17.41, 11.29, p= 0.676). These associations were modified by gender with higher precisions for testosterone (Male: -1.90, 95% CI: -3.46, -0.35, pint= 0.003; Female: -0.79, 95% CI: -1.60, 0.02, p= 0.003). Moreover, age and BMI also significantly modified the effects of pesticide mixtures on sex hormones with higher precision in testosterone and estradiol. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that pesticide mixture is inversely associated with sex hormones in the US population aged 12-80 years old, and these associations are modified by age, gender, and BMI. Intervention should be focused on reducing pesticide mixture exposures focusing on vulnerable communities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventAnnual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology 2022 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 18 Sept 202221 Sept 2022
Conference number: 34th


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology 2022
Abbreviated titleISEE 2022
Internet address

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