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Endocr Connect. 2018 Jan;7(1):232-238. doi: 10.1530/EC-17-0344. Epub 2017 Dec 13.

Bisphenol A, phthalate metabolites and glucose homeostasis in healthy normal-weight children.

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Department of Growth and ReproductionRigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
International Research and Research Training Center in Endocrine Disruption of Male Reproduction and Child Health (EDMaRC)Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Child and Youth ClinicRigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Growth and ReproductionRigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark



Bisphenol A and several of the most commonly used phthalates have been associated with adverse metabolic health effects such as obesity and diabetes. Therefore, we analyzed these man-made chemicals in first morning urine samples from 107 healthy normal-weight Danish children and adolescents.


This was a cross-sectional study. Participants were recruited as part of the Copenhagen Puberty Study. The subjects were evaluated by an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan, direct oxygen uptake measurement during cycle ergometry and fasting blood samples. First morning urine was collected and phthalate metabolites and BPA were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) with prior enzymatic deconjugation. Individual chemical concentrations were divided into tertiles and analyzed in relation to biological outcome.


Children in the lowest tertile of urinary BPA had significantly higher peak insulin levels during OGTT (P = 0.01), lower insulin sensitivity index (P < 0.01), higher leptin (P = 0.03), triglyceride (P < 0.01) and total cholesterol levels (P = 0.04), lower aerobic fitness (P = 0.02) and a tendency toward higher fat mass index (P = 0.1) compared with children in the highest tertile for uBPA. No significant differences in anthropometrics, body composition or glucose metabolism were associated with any of the phthalate metabolites measured.


This pilot study on healthy normal-weight children suggests an inverse association between BPA and insulin resistance. Our findings contrast other cross-sectional studies showing a positive association for BPA, which may be due to confounding or reverse causation because diet is an important source of both BPA exposure and obesity.


OGTT; children; diabetes; endocrine-disrupting chemicals; obesity

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