Women with polycystic ovary syndrome exhibit higher concentrations of the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, than those without the condition, according to a meta-analysis and systematic review published in Gynecological Endocrinology.
“As a common and widely utilized [environmental endocrine disruptor], BPA is one of the most overlapping global challenges and detrimental to all humans,” Ying Hu, PhD, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Sichuan University and West China Second University Hospital, China, and colleagues wrote. “Long-term exposure to high dosages (more than the body’s excretion threshold) may lead to accumulation within the body and subsequent interference with the physiological effects of estrogen and androgen associated with endocrine reproductive disorders.”
Hu and colleagues analyzed data from nine papers that included 11 case-control studies assessing BPA levels in 493 women with PCOS and 440 women without PCOS (controls). Seven studies were conducted in Asia and four recruited white participants; most women were matched by age and BMI. All but one study reported BPA levels in serum samples; one study used follicular fluid. Researchers used standardized mean differences to calculate overall estimates of BPA levels between groups.
In pooled analysis, researchers found that women with PCOS had higher BPA levels vs. controls (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 2.437; 95% CI, 1.265-3.609). In subgroup analyses, researchers observed higher BPA levels in Asian women with PCOS, adult women with PCOS and those with a lower BMI.
Additionally, high BPA levels were associated with white women with PCOS (SMD = 0.615; 95% CI, 0.308-0.922), and in studies including women with a high BMI (SMD = 0.512; 95% CI, 0.18-0.843) and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance measurement (SMD = 0.467; 95% CI, 0.121-0.813).
In sensitivity analyses, researchers observed a trend that PCOS was associated with higher BPA levels.
“BPA may be involved in the pathogenesis of PCOS through its role as an [environmental endocrine disruptor],” the researchers wrote, adding that the conclusion should help “propel the study of BPA effects, supplying more evidence from high-quality studies, advanced detection methods and larger cohorts for observational trials for further clinical application.” – by Regina Schaffer
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.