Chronic exposure to dioxin-like compounds and thyroid function among New York anglers

Michael Bloom, , John Vena, James Olson and Kirsten Moysich

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 270 Farber Hall, 3435 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214, USA

Received 14 January 2005;  accepted 9 September 2005.  Available online 24 October 2005.


Experimental studies suggest that dioxin-like compounds influence thyroid function, although human studies have presented equivocal results. Great Lakes sportfish consumers represent a population with greater potential for exposure to dioxin-like compounds than non-consumers. Thirty-eight licensed anglers participating in a dioxin exposure study, consumers and non-consumers, conducted as part of the New York Angler Cohort Study, donated blood and completed questionnaires regarding demographic, clinical, and sportfish consumption data. Sera were analyzed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), coplanar biphenyls (PCB), and PCB IUPAC #153, in addition to thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), total and free thyroxine (T4 and fT4), total triiodothyronine (T3), and lipids. An inverse linear association between serum fT4 and the sum of dioxin-like congener concentrations (∑DIOXs) in serum (B = −0.3, 95% CI = −0.5, −0.1) was identified adjusting for PCB #153 and serum lipids (R2 = 0.3, p = 0.02, n = 37). The results of this study are preliminary but suggest an inverse association between dioxin-like compounds and fT4.

Keywords: Dioxins; fT4; Thyroid; Sportfish; TCDD; TEQ


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