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Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2017 Dec;37(12):403-412. doi: 10.24095/hpcdp.37.12.02.

Urinary bisphenol A and obesity in adults: results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey.

[Article in English, French; Abstract available in French from the publisher]

Author information

Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Health Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.


in English, French


Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been shown to affect lipid metabolism and promote weight gain in animal studies. Recent epidemiological studies also support a link between BPA and obesity in human populations, although many were limited to a single adiposity measure or have not considered potential confounding by dietary factors. The purpose of this study is to examine associations between urinary BPA and adiposity measures in a nationally representative sample of Canadian adults.


We performed analyses using biomonitoring and directly measured anthropometric data from 4733 adults aged 18 to 79 years in the Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007-2011). We used multinomial and binary logistic regression models to estimate associations of urinary BPA with body mass index (BMI) categories (overweight vs. under/normal weight; obesity vs. under/normal weight) and elevated waist circumference (males: ≥ 102 cm; females: ≥ 88 cm), respectively, while controlling for potential confounders. Linear regression analyses were also performed to assess associations between urinary BPA and continuous BMI and waist circumference measures.


Urinary BPA was positively associated with BMI-defined obesity, with an odds ratio of 1.54 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.002-2.37) in the highest (vs. lowest) BPA quartile (test for trend, p = .041). Urinary BPA was not associated with elevated waist circumference defined using standard cut-offs. Additionally, each natural-log unit increase in urinary BPA concentration was associated with a 0.33 kg/m2 (95% CI: 0.10- 0.57) increase in BMI and a 1.00 cm (95% CI: 0.34-1.65) increase in waist circumference.


Our study contributes to the growing body of evidence that BPA is positively associated with obesity. Prospective studies with repeated measures are needed to address temporality and improve exposure classification.


Canadian Health Measures Survey; biomonitoring; bisphenol A; body mass index; endocrine disruptors; obesity; waist circumference

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