Early-life exposures to persistent organic pollutants in relation to overweight in preschool children

Martina Karlsen, Philippw Grandjean, Pal Weihe, Ulrike Steuerwald, Youssef Oulhote, Damaskini Valvi

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    75 Citations (Scopus)


    Current knowledge on obesogenic effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is equivocal. We therefore evaluated the associations between early-life POP exposures and body mass index (BMI) in 444 Faroese children born in 2007–2009. POPs were measured in maternal 2-week postpartum serum and child age-5 serum. Linear regression and generalised linear models assessed the associations with continuous and dichotomous BMI z-scores, respectively, at ages 18 months and/or 5 years. Maternal serum concentrations of HCB, PFOS and PFOA were associated with increased BMI z-scores and/or overweight risk (i.e. BMI z-score ≥ 85th WHO percentile). No clear association was found for maternal serum-PCBs, p,p’-DDE, PFHxS, PFNA and PFDA. In cross-sectional analyses, we observed a pattern of inverse associations between child serum-POPs and BMI z-scores at age 5, perhaps due to reverse causation that requires attention in future prospective analyses. Findings in this recent cohort support a role of maternal exposure to endocrine disruptors in the childhood obesity epidemic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)145-153
    Number of pages9
    JournalReproductive Toxicology
    Early online date3 Aug 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Childhood obesity
    • DOHaD
    • Developmental toxicity
    • Endocrine disruptors
    • Perfluoroalkyl substances
    • Persistent organic pollutants


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