Kumar J, Lind L, Salihovic S, van Bavel B, Ingelsson E, Lind PM
Environ. Res. 134 (-) 251-256 [2014-10-00; online 2014-08-29]
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are stable organic compounds generated through different industrial activities. Liver is involved in the metabolism of POPs, and hence exposure to POPs may interfere with liver function. Although a few studies have shown adverse effects of POPs on liver function, large-scale studies involving humans are lacking. We performed this large population-based cross-sectional study to assess the associations between different POPs and liver dysfunction biomarkers. A total of 992 individuals (all aged 70 years, 50% males) were recruited as part of Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) cohort. The total toxic equivalency (TEQ) value was calculated for seven mono-ortho and two non-ortho substituted polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and octachloro-p-dibenzodioxin (OCDD) to assess their toxicological effects. The association of TEQ values, summary measures of 16 PCBs (sum of PCBs) and three organochlorine pesticides (sum of OC pesticides) with liver dysfunction biomarkers (bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase, ALP; alanine aminotransferase, ALT; and gamma-glutamyltransferase, GGT) was analyzed utilizing linear regression analysis. The mono-ortho PCB TEQ values were found to be significantly positively associated with bilirubin (β=0.71, P=0.008), while sum of OC pesticide concentrations was negatively associated with ALP (β=-0.02, P=0.002) after adjusting for various potential confounders. When analyzed individually, a number of different POPs were associated with ALP, ALT and bilirubin. No such association with GGT was observed. Various POPs including PCBs, OCDD and pesticides were associated with the liver dysfunction biomarkers bilirubin, ALT and ALP, suggesting adverse effects on liver function from these environmental pollutants.