DOI: 10.1097/ee9.0000000000000161 ISSN: 2474-7882

Gestational Phthalate Exposure and Preschool Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Norway

Elizabeth M. Kamai, Gro D. Villanger, Rachel C. Nethery, Cathrine Thomsen, Amrit K. Sakhi, Samantha S. M. Drover, Jane A. Hoppin, Gun Peggy Knudsen, Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud, Pål Zeiner, Kristin Overgaard, Amy H. Herring, Heidi Aase, Stephanie M. Engel
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Epidemiology

Prenatal phthalate exposure has been linked to altered neurobehavioral development in both animal models and epidemiologic studies, but whether or not these associations translate to increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders is unclear. We used a nested case-cohort study design to assess whether maternal urinary concentrations of 12 phthalate metabolites at 17 weeks gestation were associated with criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) classified among 3-year-old children in the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Between 2007 and 2011, 260 children in this substudy were classified with ADHD using a standardized, on-site clinical assessment; they were compared with 549 population-based controls. We modeled phthalate levels both linearly and by quintiles in logistic regression models adjusted for relevant covariates and tested for interaction by child sex. Children of mothers in the highest quintile of di-iso-nonyl phthalate (∑DiNP) metabolite levels had 1.70 times the odds of being classified with ADHD compared with those in the lowest quintile (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03 to 2.82). In linear models, there was a trend with the sum of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate metabolites (∑DEHP); each natural log-unit increase in concentration was associated with 1.22 times the odds of ADHD (95% CI = 0.99 to 1.52). In boys, but not girls, mono-n-butyl phthalate exposure was associated with increased odds of ADHD (odds ratio [OR] 1.42; 95% CI = 1.07 to 1.88). Additional adjustment for correlated phthalate metabolites attenuated estimates. These results suggest gestational phthalate exposure may impact the behavior of children as young as 3 years.

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