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

Pancreatic islets study may spur diabetes treatment advances

September 22, 2017
Investigators in the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (VDRTC) and collaborators at Stanford University have discovered new insights into the molecular mechanisms of cell proliferation in juvenile human pancreatic ...

Finding a natural defense against clogged arteries

September 20, 2017
In type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation drives cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among people with the condition. Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center now have identified an unexpected natural protective ...

Study identifies blood vessel as a therapeutic target for diabetes

September 14, 2017
Blood vessels have an often overlooked role of regulating the transfer of nutrients from the blood to organs in the body. In a new Yale-led study, researchers have identified a role of a secreted protein, apelin, in regulating ...

Drug for type 2 diabetes provides significant benefits to type 1 diabetic patients

September 14, 2017
A majority of patients with Type 1 diabetes who were treated with dapagliflozin, a Type 2 diabetes medicine, had a significant decline in their blood sugar levels, according to a new study published in The Lancet Diabetes ...

Epigenetic 'fingerprint' identifies diabetes risk

September 14, 2017
Deakin researchers have identified an epigenetic marker that predicts risk of type 2 diabetes in women with gestational diabetes.

Could swine flu be linked to type 1 diabetes?

September 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—Young people who've been infected with the H1N1 swine flu virus may be at increased risk for type 1 diabetes, a new study suggests.

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.