Chemicals in personal care products may increase risk of diabetes in women

July 13, 2012

A study lead by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) shows an association between increased concentrations of phthalates in the body and an increased risk of diabetes in women. Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals that are commonly found in personal care products such as moisturizers, nail polishes, soaps, hair sprays and perfumes. They are also used in adhesives, electronics, toys and a variety of other products. This finding is published in the July 13, 2012 online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives

Researchers, lead by Tamarra James-Todd, PhD, a researcher in the Division of Women's Health at BWH, analyzed urinary concentrations of in 2,350 women who participated in the National Health and . They found that women with higher levels of phthalates in their urine were more likely to have diabetes. Specifically:

  • Women who had the highest levels of the chemicals mono-benzyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate had almost twice the risk of diabetes compared to women with the lowest levels of those chemicals.
  • Women with higher than median levels of the chemical mono-(3-carboxypropyl) phthalate had approximately a 60 percent increased risk of diabetes.
  • Women with moderately high levels of the chemicals mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate had approximately a 70 percent increased risk of diabetes.
The study population consisted of a representative sample of American women and was controlled for socio-demographic, dietary and . However, the women self-reported their diabetes and researchers caution against reading too much into the study due to the possibility of reverse causation.

"This is an important first step in exploring the connection between phthalates and diabetes," said Dr. James-Todd. "We know that in addition to being present in , phthalates also exist in certain types of medical devices and medication that is used to treat diabetes and this could also explain the higher level of phthalates in diabetic women. So overall, more research is needed."

Explore further: High levels of phthalates can lead to greater risk for diabetes

Related Stories

High levels of phthalates can lead to greater risk for diabetes

April 23, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- There is a connection between phthalates found in cosmetics and plastics and the risk of developing diabetes among seniors. Even at a modest increase in circulating phthalate levels, the risk of diabetes ...

High levels of phthalates can lead to greater risk for type-2 diabetes

April 12, 2012
There is a connection between phthalates found in cosmetics and plastics and the risk of developing diabetes among seniors. Even at a modest increase in circulating phthalate levels, the risk of diabetes is doubled. This ...

Prenatal exposure to phthalates linked to decreased mental and motor development

September 6, 2011
A newly published study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health heightens concerns over the potential health effects on children of a group of ubiquitous chemicals known as phthalates. Phthalates ...

Simpler lifestyle found to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals

June 26, 2012
A lifestyle that features fresh foods and limited use of products likely to contain environmental chemicals has been shown to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as BPA and phthalates, in a small ...

Recommended for you

Diabetes pill might replace injection to control blood sugar

October 17, 2017
(HealthDay)— An injectable class of diabetes medication—called glucagon-like peptide-1 or GLP-1—might one day be available in pill form, research suggests.

Skimping on sleep may contribute to gestational diabetes

October 17, 2017
The amount of time spent sleeping in the United States has dropped significantly in the past twenty years with almost a quarter of women and 16 percent of men experiencing insufficient sleep. Now, a new study has found that ...

Artificial pancreas performs well in clinical trial

October 16, 2017
During more than 60,000 hours of combined use of a novel artificial pancreas system, participants in a 12-week, multi-site clinical trial showed significant improvements in two key measures of well-being in people living ...

Omega-6 fats may help prevent type 2 diabetes

October 11, 2017
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes could be significantly reduced by eating a diet rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, a new study suggests.

Where there's type 1 diabetes, celiac disease may follow

October 10, 2017
(HealthDay)—Parents of young children with type 1 diabetes need to be on the lookout for symptoms of another autoimmune condition—celiac disease, new research suggests.

Type 1 diabetes and the microbiota—MAIT cells as biomarkers and new therapeutic targets

October 10, 2017
Together with colleagues from AP-HP Necker–Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris, scientists from the Cochin Institute (CNRS / INSERM / Paris Descartes University) have discovered that the onset of type 1 diabetes is preceded ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.