Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are considered to be related to diabetes, but studies of the association between phenolic EDCs and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are limited.
To assess associations of maternal urinary bisphenol A (BPA), nonylphenol (NP), and 2-tert-octylphenol (2-t-OP) with GDM occurrence.
A cross-sectional study was performed among 390 Chinese women at 24-28 weeks of gestation. GDM was diagnosed with a 2-h 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). BPA, NP, and 2-t-OP concentrations were determined in urine samples. Linear and logistic regression tests evaluated associations of BPA, NP, and 2-t-OP with blood glucose levels and GDM prevalence.
The 2-t-OP concentrations in GDM patients were significantly higher than in non-GDM women with median values of 2.23 μg/g Cr and 1.79 μg/g Cr, respectively. No significant difference was observed in BPA and NP. Urinary 2-t-OP was positively associated with blood glucose levels after adjustment for several confounding factors and urinary BPA and NP. Higher 2-t-OP levels were associated with higher odds of GDM (OR: 5.78; 95% CI: 2.04, 16.37), whereas higher NP levels were associated with lower odds (OR: 0.22; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.85) in the adjusted models. In addition, compared to the first quartile of 2-t-OP, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for GDM in the second, third, and fourth quartiles were 2.81 (1.23, 6.42), 3.01 (1.30, 6.93), and 5.49 (2.24, 13.46), respectively.
Our study indicates that, for the first time to our knowledge, exposure to 2-t-OP is associated with a higher risk of GDM. However, higher NP exposure is associated with lower GDM risk. Further studies are necessary to affirm the associations of 2-t-OP and NP with GDM, and to elucidate the causality of these findings.

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