School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

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Recent epidemiological studies indicate bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic chemical used in production of epoxy, polycarbonate, and plastic may increase risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Exposure to BPA during pregnancy may contribute to development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), a precursor to type 2 diabetes in women. This pilot study examined the association between BPA exposure, fasting blood glucose levels (FBG), and GDM diagnosis during pregnancy. Banked urine samples from 22 cases of GDM and 72 controls were analyzed for total (free BPA + conjugates) urinary BPA concentrations (μg/L). FBG levels (mg/dl) were obtained from 1-h 50-g glucose tolerance tests (GTT) that women underwent for routine GDM screening (mean gestational age = 26.6 weeks, SD = 3.8). Those with an initial screening value ≥ 135 mg/dl underwent 3-h 100 g oral GTT. GDM diagnoses were made when the initial screening value was ≥ 200 mg/dl or when values at ≥ 2 time points exceeded 3-h oral GTT thresholds. Among controls, median FBG levels (mg/dL) did not differ across exposure tertiles, defined according to the distribution of total specific-gravity-adjusted urinary BPA concentrations. Logistic regression models controlling for race/ethnicity did not provide evidence of association between BPA exposure and case status across increasing tertiles of BPA exposure (number of GDM cases/controls in tertile1: 13/24; in tertile 2: 6/24; in tertile 3: 3/24). Findings do not support a relationship between total urinary BPA concentrations and altered glucose metabolism during pregnancy. However, due to study limitations, findings need to be interpreted with caution.


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Journal of toxicology and environmental health



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Population Health and Biostatistics



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