Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Linked to Increased Risk for Cancer Mortality

About 300 percent increased risk seen for those in highest versus lowest tertile of serum PBDE levels



MONDAY, April 1, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) exposure is associated with an increased risk for cancer mortality, according to a study published online April 1 in JAMA Network Open.

Buyun Liu, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, and colleagues conducted a nationally representative cohort study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003 to 2004 and linked mortality data through Dec. 31, 2019, to examine the association of environmental exposure to PBDEs with the risk for all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Data were included for 1,100 participants.

The researchers found that 199 deaths occurred during 16,162 person-years of follow-up. The risk for death was higher for participants with higher serum PBDE levels. Participants with the highest compared with the lowest tertile of serum PBDE levels had an approximately 300 percent increased risk for cancer mortality after adjustment for age, sex, race and ethnicity, lifestyle and socioeconomic factors, and body mass index (hazard ratio, 4.09; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.71 to 9.79). There was no significant association observed for PBDE exposure with all-cause or cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 1.43 [0.98 to 2.07] and 0.92 [0.41 to 2.08], respectively).

“PBDE exposure was significantly associated with an increased risk of cancer mortality,” the authors write. “Further studies are needed to replicate the findings and determine the underlying mechanisms.”

Abstract/Full Text

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