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Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Sep 1;186(5):581-592. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx136.

Phenol Concentrations During Childhood and Subsequent Measures of Adiposity Among Young Girls.


Phenolic compounds represent a class of environmental chemicals with potentially endocrine-disrupting capabilities. We investigated longitudinal associations between childhood exposure to phenols, from both manmade and natural sources, and subsequent measures of adiposity among girls enrolled in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program between 2004 and 2007. Baseline (ages 6-8 years) urinary concentrations were obtained for creatinine and phenol metabolites: enterolactone, genistein, daidzein, benzophenone-3, bisphenol A, the sum of parabens (methyl, ethyl, and propyl parabens), 2,5-dichlorophenol, and triclosan. Body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)2), waist circumference, and percent body fat were measured at annual or semiannual examinations through 2015 (n = 1,017). Linear mixed-effects regression was used to estimate how baseline concentrations of phenols (tertile groups) were related to changes in girls' adiposity measurements from ages 7 through 15 years. Enterolactone was inversely associated with body mass index, waist circumference, and percent body fat, while 2,5-dichlorophenol was positively associated with these measurements. A nonmonotonic association was observed for triclosan and girls' adiposity; however, it was due to effect modification by baseline overweight status. Triclosan was positively associated with adiposity only among overweight girls. These results suggest that exposure to specific phenols during childhood may influence adiposity through adolescence.


adiposity; child; longitudinal studies; phenol

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