Prospective cohort studies evaluating the temporal trends of background-level persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and their potential negative health effects in humans are needed.Objective
The objectives of this study are to examine the five year longitudinal trend in chlorinated and brominated (Cl/Br) POP concentrations in a sample of elderly individuals and to investigate the relationship between gender, changes in body weight, plasma lipid levels and POP concentrations.Methods
In the population-based Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study, plasma samples were collected from the same individuals over a 5 year period. Originally 992 subjects (all aged 70) were sampled between 2001 and 2004 and 814 returning subjects (all aged 75) were sampled again from 2006 to 2009. Plasma concentrations of 16 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 5 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), octachlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD), and one polybrominated diphenylether (BDE 47) were determined using high-throughput 96-well plate solid phase extraction and gas chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS).Results
During the 5-year follow-up, plasma concentrations of all POPs significantly decreased (p < 0.00001). Median reductions ranged from 4% (PCB105) to 45% (PCB 99), with most reductions being in the 30–40% range. For most POPs, a larger decline was seen in men than in women. The relationship between the weight change and change in POP concentrations was generally negative, but a positive relationship between lipid levels and POP concentrations when expressed as wet-weight was observed. In general, similar changes in POP concentrations and their relationships to body weight were observed regardless of using either wet-weight (pg/mL) or lipid-normalized (ng/g lipid) concentrations.Conclusion
In this longitudinal cohort study, gender and minor, but varying changes in body weight and lipid levels greatly influenced the individual-based changes in POP concentrations. In general, our findings suggest that men and women with larger decreases in body weight and greater increases in lipid levels have the slowest decline in body burden of POPs. Based on the results from this study, either wet-weight or lipid normalized concentrations can be used to determine the percent change in POP concentrations and their relationships to physiological changes and differences.