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Association between lung function in adults and plasma DDT and DDE levels: Results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey

TitleAssociation between lung function in adults and plasma DDT and DDE levels: Results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsYe, M., Beach J., Martin J. W., and Senthilselvan A.
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume123
Pages422 - 427
Abstract

Background: Although DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane] has been banned in many countries since the 1970s, it may still pose a risk to human respiratory health. In agriculture, DDT exposures have been associated with asthma and chronic bronchitis. However, little is known about the effect of DDT on lung function. Objectives: We examined DDT/DDE concentrations in plasma and associations with lung function FVC (forced vital capacity), FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second), FEV1/FVC ratio, and FEF25%-75% (forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of FVC). Methods: We used data on 1,696 participants aged 20-79 years from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) and conducted multiple regression analysis to estimate associations between plasma p,p'-DDT/DDE and lung function. Results: Almost all participants (over 99.0%) had detectable concentrations plasma p,p'-DDE, while only 10.0% had detectable p,p'-DDT. Participants with detectable p,p'-DDT had significantly lower mean FVC (diff=311mL; 95% CI: -492, -130; p=0.003) and FEV1 (diff=232mL; 95% CI: -408, -55; p=0.015) than those without. A 100 ng/g lipid increase in plasma p,p'-DDE was associated with an 18.8mL decrease in mean FVC (95% CI: -29, -9) and an 11.8mL decrease in mean FEV1 (95% CI: -21, -3). Neither exposure was associated with FEV1/FVC ratio or FEF25%-75%. Conclusions: DDT exposures, which may have occurred decades ago, were still detectable among Canadians. Plasma DDT and DDE were negatively associated with lung function parameters. Additional research on the potential effects of DDT use on lung function is warranted.

URLhttp://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1408217/
DOI10.1289/ehp.1408217
Document URLhttp://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/123/5/ehp.1408217.alt.pdf