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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Sep;14(9):2224-36.

Improving organochlorine biomarker models for cancer research.

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  • 1Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Multivariate methods were used to predict levels of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethene (DDE) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in plasma from characteristics that included age, diet, race, reproductive history, socioeconomic status, and reported body mass index (BMI) at several decades of life before blood collection. Measurements were available for organochlorine compound (organochlorines), cholesterol, and triglycerides in plasma from 1,008 women participants in a population-based case-control study of breast cancer undertaken in 1996 to 1997 on Long Island, NY. Organochlorine compound levels were associated with age, race, lactation history, body size characteristics, and plasma lipids. PCB predictors also included fish consumption. DDE was correlated with current BMI, BMI at every decade of age from ages 20 to 60 years, and BMI-gain (from ages 20 or 30 years to 1997). In contrast, PCBs were correlated inversely with both BMI (fifth to seventh decades of age) and BMI-gain. After adjusting for covariates, DDE and PCB were both positively associated with BMI and inversely with BMI-gain; they were lowest with low BMI, high BMI-gain, and longer lactation. This pattern is consistent with a pharmacokinetic model that predicts higher body burdens during windows of highest uptake, faster elimination of organochlorine compounds in leaner women, and lowered levels accompanying BMI-gain. As a result, lifetime intake for specific organochlorine compound may lead to different plasma levels dependent on changes in body size, absolute intensity of intake, and whether exposure is ongoing (i.e., PCB) or long discontinued (i.e., DDE).

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