Relationship between serum concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and metabolic syndrome among non-diabetic adults

Sun Kyun Park, Hyo Kyung Son, Sung Kook Lee, Jung Ho Kang, Yoon Seok Chang, David R. Jacobs, Duk Hee Lee

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44 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study was performed to investigate if organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were associated with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance among non-diabetes. Methods: Among subjects who participated in a community-based health survey, 50 non-diabetic subjects with metabolic syndrome and 50 normal controls were selected. Insulin resistance was measured by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Eight OCPs were selected. Results: After adjusting for confounders except for body mass index (BMI), beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH) and heptachlor epoxide were positively associated with metabolic syndrome. Odds ratios across tertiles of β-HCH and heptachlor epoxide were 1.0, 3.2 and 4.4, and 1.0, 4.0 and 6.0, respectively (p for trend = 0.01 and <0.01). After additional adjustment for body mass index (BMI), heptachlor epoxide still showed an increasing trend with adjusted odds ratios of 1.0, 4.1, and 4,6 (p for trend = 0.10). When the five components of metabolic syndrome (with the definition of high fasting glucose (≥100 mg/dL)) were separately analyzed, all components were positively, but not significantly, associated with heptachlor epoxide. As the serum concentration of heptachlor epoxide increased, HOMA-IR increased significantly in subjects with metabolic syndrome even after adjusting for BMI (p value <0.05 and <0.01). Conclusions: Despite the small sample size, this study suggests that the background exposure to some OCPs may be associated with metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Environmental pollutants
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome X
  • Obesity
  • Organochlorine compounds
  • Persistent organic pollutants


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