Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are associated with later puberty in girls: A longitudinal study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The objective of this study is to explore associations between PAH exposures and puberty timing in girls. Beginning in May 2014, 734 girls age 7.2-11.8 years in Chongqing, China, were enrolled in a prospective cohort study. They were followed up every 6 months from enrollment through June 2021, at which point participants were ages 13.6-18.3 years. Metabolite concentrations of four PAHs (1-hydroxypyrene [1-OHPyr], 2-hydroxynaphthalene [2-OHNap], 2-hydroxyfluorine [2-OHFlu], and 9-hydroxyphenanthrene [9-OHPhe]) were measured in urine samples at baseline. At each follow up visit, the Tanner's Sexual Maturity Rating scale was administered. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate associations between four urinary PAH metabolite concentrations and four markers of puberty: menarche, breast development, pubic hair development, and axillary hair development. Geometric mean concentrations of 1-OHPyr, 2-OHNap, 2-OHFlu and 9-OHPhe in urine were 0.47 μg/L, 3.31 μg/L, 1.49 μg/L, 3.75 μg/L, respectively. There were statistically significant associations between several urinary PAH metabolite concentrations and puberty outcomes. PAH metabolite concentrations were grouped as Low (<25th percentile, referent group), Moderate (25th-75th percentile) or High (>75th). Girls with moderate levels of 1-OHPyr were at higher risk of delayed pubic hair development (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.82, 95 % confidence interval [CI]: 0.68-0.99). Delayed breast development (HR: 0.77, 95 % CI: 0.60-0.99) and pubic hair development (HR: 0.76, 95 % CI: 0.60-0.95) were associated with high 2-OHNap. High c 2-OHFlu was associated with delayed pubic hair development (HR: 0.77, 95 % CI: 0.61-0.96). Delayed breast (HR: 0.79, 95 % CI: 0.64-0.97), pubic hair (HR: 0.79, 95 % CI: 0.65-0.96) and axillary hair development (HR: 0.80, 95 % CI: 0.65-0.99) was associated with moderate 9-OHPhe. In conclusion, PAH exposure may delay puberty onset in girls.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fang, B; Bravo, MA; Wang, H; Sheng, L; Wu, W; Zhou, Y; Xi, X; Østbye, T; Liu, Q

Published Date

  • November 10, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 846 /

Start / End Page

  • 157497 -

PubMed ID

  • 35868395

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1026

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157497


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands