Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Dec;115 Suppl 1:8-14. doi: 10.1289/ehp.9351.

Human exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and prenatal risk factors for cryptorchidism and hypospadias: a nested case-control study.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Medical Investigations, San Cecilio University Hospital, Granada, Spain. marieta@ugr.es



Exposure to xenoestrogens during pregnancy may disturb the development and function of male sexual organs.


In this study we aimed to determine whether the combined effect of environmental estrogens measured as total effective xenoestrogen burden (TEXB) is a risk factor for male urogenital malformations.


In a case-control study, nested in a mother-child cohort (n = 702) established at Granada University Hospital, we compared 50 newborns with diagnosis of cryptorchidism and/or hypospadias with 114 boys without malformations matched by gestational age, date of birth, and parity. Controls did not differ from the total cohort in confounding variables. TEXB and levels of 16 organochlorine pesticides were measured in placenta tissues. Characteristics of parents, pregnancy, and birth were gathered by questionnaire. We used conditional and unconditional regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


TEXB from organohalogenated compounds was detectable in 72% and 54% of case and control placentas, respectively. Compared with controls, cases had an OR for detectable versus non-detectable TEXB of 2.82 (95% CI, 1.10-7.24). More pesticides were detected in cases than in controls (9.34 +/- 3.19 vs. 6.97 +/- 3.93). ORs for cases with detectable levels of pesticides, after adjusting for potential confounders in the conditional regression analysis, were o,p'-DDT (OR = 2.25; 95% CI, 1.03-4.89), p,p'-DDT (OR = 2.63; 95% CI, 1.21-5.72), lindane (OR = 3.38; 95% CI, 1.36-8.38), mirex (OR = 2.85; 95% CI, 1.22-6.66), and endosulfan alpha (OR = 2.19; 95% CI, 0.99-4.82). Engagement of mothers in agriculture (OR = 3.47; 95% CI, 1.33-9.03), fathers' occupational exposure to xenoestrogens (OR = 2.98; 95% CI, 1.11-8.01), and history of previous stillbirths (OR = 4.20; 95% CI, 1.11-16.66) were also associated with risk of malformations.


We found an increased risk for male urogenital malformations related to the combined effect of environmental estrogens in placenta.


cryptorchidism; endocrine-disrupting chemicals; environmental estrogens; hypo-spadias; occupational exposure; risk factors

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk