Background: Few human studies have evaluated the impact of childhood exposure to organochlorine pesticides (OCP) on pubertal development. Objective: We evaluated associations of serum OCP concentrations [hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (βHCH), and p,p-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p´-DDE)] with age at attainment of sexual maturity among boys. Methods: From 2003 through 2005, 350 8- to 9-year-old boys from Chapaevsk, Russia, with measured OCPs were enrolled and followed annually for 8 years. We used multivariable interval censored models to evaluate associations of OCPs (quartiles) with three physician-assessed measures of sexual maturity: Tanner stage 5 for genitalia growth, Tanner stage 5 for pubic hair growth, or testicular volume (TV) ≥ 20 mL in either testis. Results: In adjusted models, boys with higher HCB concentrations achieved sexual maturity reflected by TV ≥ 20 mL a mean of 3.1 months (95% CI: –1.7, 7.8), 5.3 months (95% CI: 0.6, 10.1), and 5.0 months (95% CI: 0.2, 9.8) later for quartiles Q2, Q3, and Q4, respectively, compared with Q1 (p trend = 0.04). Tanner stage 5 for genitalia growth was attained a mean of 2.2 months (95% CI: –3.1, 7.5), 5.7 months (95% CI: 0.4, 11.0), and 3.7 months (95% CI: –1.7, 9.1) later for quartiles Q2, Q3, and Q4, respectively, of βHCH compared with Q1 (p trend = 0.09). Tanner stage 5 for pubic hair growth occurred 6–9 months later on average for boys in the highest versus lowest quartile for HCB (p trend < 0.001), βHCH (trend p = 0.01), and p,p´-DDE (p trend = 0.04). No associations were observed between p,p´-DDE and Tanner stage 5 for genitalia growth or TV ≥ 20 mL. Conclusions and relevance: Higher prepubertal serum HCB and βHCH concentrations were associated with a later age at attainment of sexual maturity. Only the highest quartile of serum p,p´-DDE was associated with later pubic hair maturation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis