Endocrine; Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are organochlorine compounds produced in the past century up to the 1970s-1980s, when they were banned in most countries due to their toxicity and environmental persistence. For these characteristics, PCBs tend to accumulate in soil, plants and animals and in the food chain. They have include among the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and been found to determine deleterious effects to environment and animals.
In fact, various experimental studies on animalS; also epidemiological studies on humans have demonstrate an association between PCBs and metabolic and endocrine diseases; so damage to nervous systems and development and immunological and reproductive disorders. Moreover, PCBs have been recently update to carcinogens to humans (group I) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Endocrine and metabolic diseases
This study reports the data collect in the 2013-14 survey in the whole sample to evaluate: i) PCBs serum levels in a population living in a PCB pollute area according to age, gender, education, smoking habits and BMI; ii) the association between serum levels of PCBs and of thyroid hormones and TSH and glycaemia; and iii) the association between PCBs serum levels and the presence of self-report endocrine and metabolic diseases and hypertension.
This cross-sectional study on the general population living in an area pollute; so by a factory producing PCBs until the 1980s show that subjects’ PCB serum levels are still high and strongly associate with age; also with the highest values in the oldest subjects, suggesting high body storage of these compounds by cumulative past exposure.
The serum levels of total PCBs, PCB 153 and four PCB functional groups; so were also negatively associate with female gender, education level and smoking habit; also positively associate with BMI by multivariable analysis. However, they find no association of PCB serum levels, PCB 153 and four PCB functional groups; so with either prevalence of endocrine and metabolic diseases and hypertension or serum levels of thyroid hormones; also TSH and glycaemia when controlling for age and other.
Health care database
Anyway, to assess validity of self-report diagnoses; they made a record linkage of our data set with the Brescia Local Health Authority (LHA) health-care database, base on routinely collect administrative data, which have show to have a satisfactory completeness and accuracy according to a previous study perform by some of us.
We found an overall good agreement between subject’s self-report data and the LHA database as regards the presence of diabetes and hypertension. No evaluation could be done for thyroid diseases because some subjects with past diagnosis of these diseases no longer require health services for their diseases and therefore are not include in the LHA database.
In conclusion, the serum levels of total PCBs, PCB 153 and PCB functional groups were not associate with thyroid diseases, diabetes and hypertension or with hormone serum levels and glycemia when taking account of age, gender, education, smoking habits and BMI in the general population living in a highly PCB pollute area.