Prenatal exposure to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and obesity at 9 years of age in the CHAMACOS study cohort.

In-utero exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds, including
dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolite
dichlorodiphenylethylene (DDE), has been hypothesized to increase the
risk of obesity later in life. We examined the associations of maternal
serum concentrations of DDT and DDE during pregnancy with body mass
index, obesity, waist circumference, and percentage of body fat in
9-year-old children (n = 261) in the Center for the Health Assessment of
Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) Study, a longitudinal birth
cohort study in the Salinas Valley, California (2000-2010). We found
associations between prenatal exposure to DDT and DDE and several
measures of obesity at 9 years of age in boys but not in girls. For
example, among boys, 10-fold increases in prenatal DDT and DDE
concentrations were associated with increased odds of becoming
overweight or obese (for o,p'-DDT, adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.5, 95%
confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 6.3; for p,p'-DDT, adjusted OR = 2.1, 95%
CI: 1.0, 4.5; and for p,p'-DDE, adjusted OR = 1.97, 95% CI: 0.94,
4.13). The odds ratios for girls were nonsignificant. Results were
similar for body mass index z score, waist circumference z score, and
odds of increased waist circumference but were less consistent for
percentage of body fat. The difference by sex persisted after
considering pubertal status. These results provide support for the
chemical obesogen hypothesis.

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