Insecticide Exposure May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Higher chlordecone levels associated with higher risk of the disease

FRIDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to the estrogenic insecticide chlordecone is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to a study published online June 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Luc Multigner, M.D., of the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, and colleagues analyzed exposure to chlordecone among 623 men with prostate cancer and 671 men without prostate cancer in the French West Indies. The researchers assessed plasma concentration of the chemical and cumulative exposure. They also genotyped the subjects for two polymorphisms (rs3829125 and rs17134592) in the gene that encodes for chlordecone reductase.

The researchers found that prostate cancer risk increased as plasma chlordecone concentration increased (odds ratio [OR] for the highest tertile of values above the limit of detection, 1.77) and with cumulative exposure (OR, 1.73 for the highest quartile). Among those who had a family history of prostate cancer or who had lived in a Western country, there were stronger associations. In individuals who had plasma chlordecone concentrations higher than the limit of detection, risk was highest among those with the rs3829125 and rs17134592 allele variants (OR, 5.23).

"In conclusion, our results suggest that there is a causal relationship between chlordecone exposure and prostate cancer risk. Our study also suggests that this association may be affected by genetic background, together with environmental agents related to diet or lifestyle," the authors write.

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Jeff Muise

Jeff Muise

Published on June 25, 2010

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