Background A previous analysis examined the contribution of endocrine disruptor exposures (endocrine-disrupting chemicals, EDCs) to adult diabetes, but was limited to effects of phthalates in middle-aged women and did not simultaneously examine multiple EDCs which are known to coexist in the environment. We therefore endeavoured to quantify potential reductions in diabetes and disease costs that could result from reducing synthetic chemical diabetogenic exposures in the elderly in Europe.
Methods We leveraged the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study (∼1000 participants), which has measured exposure to phthalates; dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethylene; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and perfluoroalkyl substances to examine their independent contribution to diabetes. We estimated risk reductions assuming identical 25% reductions across levels of 4 selected compounds (PCB 153, monoethylphthalate, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene and perfluorononanoic acid), and diabetes costs saved in European men and women if diabetogenic exposures are limited.
Results Reduction of chemical exposures was associated with a 13% (95% CI 2% to 22%) reduction in prevalent diabetes, compared with 40% resulting from an identical (25%) reduction in body mass index (BMI) in cross-sectional analyses. Extrapolating to Europe, 152 481 cases of diabetes in Europe and €4.51 billion/year in associated costs could be prevented, compared with 469 172 cases prevented by reducing BMI.
Conclusions These findings support regulatory and individual efforts to reduce chemical exposures to reduce the burden and costs of diabetes.
- ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
- Epidemiological methods
- Economic evaluation
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Contributors LT wrote the manuscript, and performed economic analyses. PML and LL provided primary study access and reviewed/edited the manuscript. EL performed statistical analyses. LT and PML are the joint guarantors of this work, including the study design, access to data, and the decision to submit and publish the manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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