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PLoS One. 2017 Jan 13;12(1):e0169217. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169217. eCollection 2017.

The Association between Exposure to Environmental Bisphenol A and Gonadotropic Hormone Levels among Men.

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Department of Reproductive Epidemiology and Social Science, Key Lab. of Reproduction Regulation of NPFPC, SIPPR, IRD, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Shanghai Key Lab of Chemical Biology, School of Pharmacy, East China University of Science & Technology, Shanghai, China.
Department of Reproductive Biology, Key Lab. of Reproduction Regulation of NPFPC, SIPPR, IRD, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Orthogenics and Genetics, Population and Family Planning Institute of Guizhou Province, Guiyang, China.
Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is an extensively used chemical with endocrine disrupting properties. Although animal and in vivo studies have suggested possible effects of BPA on levels of gonadotropic hormones, human studies are limited and inconclusive. The study examined whether environmental BPA exposure was associated with gonadotropic hormones levels in men. A total of 560 men aged 18-55 years were recruited from Sandu County, Guizhou Province, China. We collected urine samples for measurement of BPA, and blood samples for measurement of reproductive hormones. We examined serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and total testosterone (T). Relative risk (RR) was obtained by log-binominal regression to explore the association between urinary BPA level and hormone levels. BPA was detected in 70.4% of urine samples, with a geometric mean of 0.50 μg/gCr. Men with detectable levels of BPA had a 1.52-fold increased risk of having a high LH level (>75th percentile) when compared with men with undetectable levels of BPA, after adjustment for potential confounders (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04-2.21). The association persisted and slightly intensified among current smokers (adjusted RR (aRR) = 1.76, 95%CI: 1.05-2.95), while it weakened among non-smokers (aRR = 1.17, 95%CI: 0.69-1.96). Urinary BPA level was associated with an increased FSH level among smokers (aRR = 1.64, 95%CI: 1.01-2.67). Urinary BPA level was inversely associated with total T level among males with body max index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2 although this association was of borderline significance (aRR = 0.52, 95%CI: 0.26-1.05). In conclusion, environmental exposure to BPA was associated with increased serum levels of LH and FSH in male smokers, along with decreased serum levels of total T in men with BMI≥25 kg/m2. These findings suggest that the effects of environmental BPA exposure on hormone levels might be modified by smoking and BMI.

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