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Prenatal Phthalate Exposure and Language Development in Toddlers from the Odense Child Cohort

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  • Trine Staak Olesen, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Dorthe Bleses
  • Helle Raun Andersen, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Philippe Grandjean, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Hanne Frederiksen, Department of Growth & Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Denmark
  • Fabio Trecca
  • Niels Bilenberg, Børne- og Ungdomspsykiatrisk Center, Odense, Denmark
  • Henriette Boye Kyhl, Pædiatri, HC Andersen Children Hospital, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark., Denmark
  • Louise Dalager, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Inge Kjær Jensen, Denmark
  • Anna-Maria Anderson, Department of Growth & Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Tina Kold, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Background

Phthalates are a group of chemicals found in a variety of consumer products. They have anti-androgenic properties and human studies have reported associations between prenatal phthalate exposure and neuropsychological development in the offspring despite different cognitive tests, different ages and varying timing of exposure.

Objectives

To investigate the association between prenatal phthalate exposure and language development in children aged 20–36 months.

Methods

In the Odense Child Cohort, we analyzed 3rd trimester urine samples of 518 pregnant women for content of metabolites of diethyl, di-n-butyl, diisobutyl, butylbenzyl, di(2-ethylhexyl), and diisononyl phthalate, adjusted for osmolality. Language development was addressed using the Danish version of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories “Words and Sentences”. Associations were assessed using logistic regression models comparing children below and above the 15th percentile while stratifying by sex and adjusting for maternal age and educational level.

Results

Phthalate metabolites were detectable in all samples although in lower levels than previous studies. Among boys, increased prenatal phthalate exposure was associated with lower scores in language development; odds ratios for vocabulary score below the 15th percentile with doubling in monoethyl phthalate, and summed di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites were respectively 1.24 (95% confidence interval: 1.05,1.46), and 1.33 (1.01,1.75). Similar associations were found for language complexity. No associations were found for girls.

Conclusions

Our findings are notable, as adverse associations were suggested even in this low-level exposed population, with only one spot urine sample for exposure assessment and control for confounders. Lower scores in early language development are of relevance to health as this test predicts later educational success.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Volume65
IssueJanuary-February
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
ISSN0892-0362
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

    Research areas

  • ACID, CHEMICALS, DANISH, DUST, ESTERS, HEALTH, METABOLITES, PREGNANT-WOMEN, RISK, URINE SAMPLES

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