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Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Jun 17;48(12):7018-25. doi: 10.1021/es502076j. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

Urinary phthalate metabolite associations with biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress across pregnancy in Puerto Rico.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health , Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029, United States.


Phthalate exposure during pregnancy has been linked to adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth, and inflammation and oxidative stress may mediate these relationships. In a prospective cohort study of pregnant women recruited early in gestation in Northern Puerto Rico, we investigated the associations between urinary phthalate metabolites and biomarkers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α, and oxidative stress, including 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (OHdG) and 8-isoprostane. Inflammation biomarkers were measured in plasma twice during pregnancy (N = 215 measurements, N = 120 subjects), and oxidative stress biomarkers in urine were measured three times (N = 148 measurements, N = 54 subjects) per woman. In adjusted linear mixed models, metabolites of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) were associated with increased IL-6 and IL-10 but relationships were generally not statistically significant. All phthalates were associated with increases in oxidative stress markers. Relationships with OHdG were significant for DEHP metabolites as well as mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP) and monoiso-butyl phthalate (MiBP). For 8-isoprostane, associations with nearly all phthalates were statistically significant and the largest effect estimates were observed for MBP and MiBP (49-50% increase in 8-isoprostane with an interquartile range increase in metabolite concentration). These relationships suggest a possible mechanism for phthalate action that may be relevant to a number of adverse health outcomes.

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