TUESDAY, May 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In children, the odds of celiac disease are increased in association with persistent organic pollutant (POP) exposure, according to a study published online May 11 in Environmental Research.

Abigail Gaylord, M.P.H., from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues conducted a prospective, single-site, case-control study to examine the association between POPs and celiac disease. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), perfluoroalkyl substances, and p,p’-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and human leukocyte antigen-DQ genotype category were measured in whole blood and blood serum from 30 children with newly diagnosed celiac disease and 60 age-matched controls.

The researchers found that patients with higher serum DDE concentrations had twofold increased odds of celiac disease after adjustment for sex, race, age, and genetic susceptibility score. In models stratified by sex, the odds of celiac disease were elevated in females with serum concentrations of DDE (odds ratio, 8.94), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (odds ratio, 5.27), perfluorooctanoic acid (odds ratio, 9.42), and perfluorohexanesulfonate (odds ratio, 7.68) and in males with serum BDE153, a PBDE congener (odds ratio, 2.29), after controlling for age and genetic susceptibility score.

“This research raises several questions about the contribution of POPs to celiac disease development,” the authors write. “This study begs for further research on the contribution of POP exposure to the development of autoimmunity in childhood.”

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