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Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Jun 1;177(11):1263-70. doi: 10.1093/aje/kws391. Epub 2013 Apr 4.

Urinary bisphenol A and obesity in U.S. children.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, 1 Medical Center Drive, P.O. Box 9190, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.


Childhood obesity, a major public health problem, can lead to cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Studies have implicated exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a commonly used chemical, in the development of obesity in adults. However, literature is limited on this association in children. We examined the association between urinary BPA and obesity in children aged 6-18 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2008). The primary exposure was urinary BPA and the outcome was obesity, defined as the ≥ 95th percentile of body mass index specific for age and sex. We found a positive association between increasing levels of urinary BPA and obesity, independent of age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, physical activity, serum cotinine, and urinary creatinine. Compared with children in the lowest quartile of BPA (<1.5 ng/mL), children in the highest quartile (>5.4 ng/mL) had a multivariable odds ratio for obesity of 2.55 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.65, 3.95) (Ptrend < 0.01). The observed positive association was predominantly present in boys (odds ratio = 3.80, 95% CI: 2.25, 6.43) (Ptrend < 0.001) and in non-Hispanic whites (odds ratio = 5.87, 95% CI: 2.15, 16.05) (Ptrend < 0.01). In a representative sample of children, urinary BPA was associated with obesity, predominantly in non-Hispanic white boys, independent of major risk factors.


NHANES; bisphenol A; body mass index; children; obesity

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