PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
Mouse models suggest that bisphenol A (BPA), which is widely used in manufacturing of food container linings, may increase allergic inflammation. Authors of this study sought to investigate whether BPA exposure would be associated with increased odds of developing wheeze and asthma.
Between 1998 and 2006, 568 pregnant women were recruited from prenatal clinics. The women were of African American and Dominican ethnicity, aged between 18 and 35 years, and had lived in northern Manhattan or the South Bronx for at least 1 year.
Urine BPA concentrations were measured in spot urine samples collected from mothers during the third trimester and from children at ages 3, 5, and 7 years. During visits at ages 5, 6, and 7 years, questionnaires were used to assess for wheeze in the preceding 12 months. Asthma diagnosis was determined once between ages 5 and 12 years by a physician by using history and physical as well as pre- and postbronchodilator testing. At 7- and 11-year visits, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide values were measured. At the 7-year visit, sero-atopy was determined by measuring specific IgE levels to aeroallergens, with sero-atopy defined as a specific IgE level >0.35. Odds ratios (ORs) for development of wheeze, asthma, and allergic sensitization were determined by using logistic and linear regression models.
BPA concentrations at ages 3, 5, and 7 years were associated with a diagnosis of asthma at ages 5 to 12 years (ORs were 1.5, 1.4, and 1.5 and P values were .005, .03, and .04, respectively). Urinary BPA concentration at age 3 years was associated with wheeze at age 5 years (OR: 1.4; P = .02) and 6 years (OR: 1.4; P = .02). BPA concentration at age 7 years was positively associated with wheeze at age 7 years (OR: 1.4; P = .04) and fraction of exhaled nitric oxide values (β =0.1, P = .02). Contrary to the authors’ hypothesis, prenatal urinary BPA concentrations were inversely associated with wheeze at age 5 years (OR: 0.7; P = .02). BPA concentrations measured at ages 3, 5, and 7 years were not associated with sero-atopy at age 7 years (P = .8).
Results of this study suggest that BPA exposure increases risk of airway hyperresponsiveness in children.
This is the first study to report an association between urinary BPA concentrations and asthma in children. This study is limited by use of spot urine samples to assess exposure to BPA, which has a half-life of 6 hours. Further studies may use more rigorous methods of assessing BPA exposure and additionally explore the role of BPA exposure in development of other atopic diseases such as food allergy and atopic dermatitis.
- Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics