First-Trimester Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration in Relation to Anogenital Distance, an Androgen-Sensitive Measure of Reproductive Development, in Infant Girls.
Environ Health Perspect. 2017 07 11 ;125(7):077008. Epub 2017 Jul 11. PMID: 28728138
Emily S Barrett
INTRODUCTION: Evidence from animal models suggests that prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemical, is associated with adverse reproductive outcomes in females. Exposure during early gestation, a critical period for reproductive development, is of particular concern. Anogenital distance (AGD) is a sensitive biomarker of the fetal hormonal milieu and a measure of reproductive toxicity in animal models. In some studies, the daughters of BPA-exposed dams have shorter AGD than controls. Here, we investigate this relationship in humans.
METHODS: BPA was assayed in first-trimester urine samples from 385 participants who delivered infant girls in a multicenter pregnancy cohort study. After birth, daughters underwent exams that included two measures of AGD (AGD-AC: distance from center of anus to clitoris; AGD-AF: distance from center of anus to fourchette). We fit linear regression models to examine the association between specific gravity-adjusted (SPG-adj) maternal BPA concentrations and infant AGD, adjusting for covariates.
RESULTS: BPA was detectable in 94% of women. In covariate-adjusted models fit on 381 eligible subjects, the natural logarithm of SpG-adj maternal BPA concentration was inversely associated with infant AGD-AC [β=−0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.97, −0.15]. We observed no association between maternal BPA and infant AGD-AF.
CONCLUSION: BPA may have toxic effects on the female reproductive system in humans, as it does in animal models. Higher first-trimester BPA exposure was associated with significantly shorter AGD in daughters, suggesting that BPA may alter the hormonal environment of the female fetus. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP875.