School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

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Purpose: To examine associations between phthalate metabolite urinary concentrations during early pregnancy and blood glucose levels obtained at the time of screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Methods: Upon initiation of prenatal care, women with a mean gestational age of 12.8 weeks were recruited for a study of environmental chemical exposures (n = 110) and provided a spot urinary specimen. Blood glucose concentrations (mg/dl) were obtained from the electronic medical record for those patients who did not experience a pregnancy loss and did not transfer care to another facility prior to glucose screening (n = 72). Urinary concentrations of nine phthalate metabolites and creatinine were measured at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Associations between tertiles of phthalate metabolites concentrations and blood glucose levels were estimated using linear regression.

Results: Compared to pregnant women in the lowest concentration tertile, women with the highest urinary concentrations (≥ 3 rd tertile) of mono-iso-butyl phthalate (tertile: ≥ 15.3 μg/l, β = -18.3, 95% CI: -35.4, -1.2) and monobenzyl phthalate (tertile: ≥ 30.3 μg/l, β = -17.3, 95% CI: -34.1, -0.4) had lower blood glucose levels at the time of GDM screening after adjustment for urinary creatinine and demographic covariates.

Conclusion: Because maternal glucose levels increase during pregnancy to provide adequate nutrition for fetal growth and development, these findings may have implications for fetal health. However, given the limitations of our study, findings should be interpreted cautiously.


Publication Title

International journal of hygiene and environmental health



Academic Level


Mentor/PI Department

Population Health and Biostatistics



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