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Arch Environ Health. 1999 Jul-Aug;54(4):277-83.

Determinants of p,p-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDE) concentration in adipose tissue in women from five European cities.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National School of Public Health, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.


To identify the determinants of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (p,p'-DDE) in adipose tissue in subjects who participated in a cross-sectional study, we analyzed fatty acids, antioxidants, and p,p'-DDE in aspirates of adipose tissue of 328 postmenopausal women from 5 European countries. The overall mean of p,p'-DDE concentration was 1.66 microg/g of fatty acids (95% confidence interval = 1.46, 1.88). In a multiple-regression analysis, the main predictors of log10(p,p'DDE) were center of recruitment (p < .0001), adipose arachidic acid (p = .001), and adipose retinol (p = .04). These factors explained 14.9% of the overall variability of log10(p,p'-DDE). In our subjects, adipose tissue p,p'DDE concentrations were only weakly related with biomarkers reflecting intake of fish and other foods. This result is consistent with the notion that p,p'-DDE exists in different foods and, given the widespread contamination of the food chain, is relatively evenly distributed among foods.

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