Temporal exposure and consistency of endocrine disrupting chemicals in a longitudinal study of individuals with impaired fasting glucose

Thomas P van der Meer, Ming K Chung, Martijn van Faassen, Konstantinos C Makris, André P van Beek, Ido P Kema, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Jana V van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Chirag J Patel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) include non-persistent exogenous substances such as parabens, bisphenols and phthalates which have been associated with a range of metabolic disorders and disease. It is unclear if exposure remains consistent over time. We investigated change in indicators of EDC exposure between 2009 and 2016 and assessed its consistency between and within individuals over a median follow-up time of 47 months in a sample of Dutch individuals. Of 500 Dutch individuals, two 24 hour urine samples were analysed for 5 parabens, 3 bisphenols and 13 metabolites of in total 8 different phthalates. We calculated per-year differences using meta-analysis and assessed temporal correlations between and within individuals using Spearman correlation coefficients, intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and kappa-statistics. We found a secular decrease in concentrations of methyl, ethyl, propyl and n-butyl paraben, bisphenol A, and metabolites of di-ethyl phthalate (DEP), di-butyl phthalate (DBP), di-(2-ethyl-hexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and butylbenzyl phthalate (DBzP) which varied from 8 to 96% (ethyl paraben, propyl paraben) between 2009 and 2016. Within-person temporal correlations were highest for parabens (ICC: 0.34 to 0.40) and poorest for bisphenols (ICC: 0.15 to 0.23). For phthalate metabolites, correlations decreased most between time periods (ICC < 48 months: 0.22 to 0.39; ≥ 48 months: -0.05 to 0.32). When categorizing EDC concentrations, 33 to 54% of individuals remained in the lowest or highest category and temporal correlations were similar to continuous measurements. Exposure to most EDCs decreased between 2009 and 2016 in a sample of individuals with impaired fasting glucose from the Dutch population. Temporal consistency was generally poor. The inconsistency in disease associations may be influenced by individual-level or temporal variation exhibited by EDCs. Our findings call for the need for repeated measurements of EDCs in observational studies before and during at-risk temporal windows for the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110901
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Early online date19-Feb-2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19-Feb-2021

Cite this