Polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in adipose tissue and abdominal obesity in the elderly

Elvira Bräuner, Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Zorana Andersen, Jytte Halkjær, Anne Tjønneland, Steffen Loft, Sofie Knudsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstract in journalResearchpeer-review


    Obesity prevalence has more than doubled globally within the last 30 years. Obesity affects quality of life as well as impacts the risks and prognosis for a number of serious diseases. Established causes include a high calorie diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle and possibly the widespread cessation of smoking, but these do not fully explain the epidemic. Polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCBs) are endocrine-disrupting chemicals and evidence from animal experiments suggests an association with obesity development. Our knowledge of the effects of these compounds on weight gain in humans is limited.
    Our objective was to investigate the association between exposure to PCBs experienced by a general Danish population and development of obesity. We randomly selected 204 persons (113 obese and 91 overweight), aged ≥ 50 years, from a prospective Danish cohort of 57,053 persons and examined ten PCBs as potential determinants of abdominal obesity. Adipose tissue was collected upon enrolment and PCBs were quantified using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy.
    Median levels of the included PCBs were lower in women, except for PCB118 and all PCBs were positively associated with increased abdominal circumference, although this association was not significant.
    These data indicate a positive link between PCBs and obesity. More work is needed to fully elucidate the complex role of compounds such as PCBs in the present obesity epidemic.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnvironment and Health Perspectives
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2013
    EventEHB13: Environment and Health - Bridging South, North, east and West - University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
    Duration: 19 Aug 201323 Aug 2013


    ConferenceEHB13: Environment and Health - Bridging South, North, east and West
    LocationUniversity of Basel

    Bibliographical note

    Abstract Number : 3052 | ID : P-1-24-19


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