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DDT Exposure Associated with Reduced Female Hormones

Hormone levels fall during critical periods of menstrual cycle for pregnancy

THURSDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to DDT or related chemicals found in food and the environment is associated with a reduction in female reproductive hormones at times during the menstrual cycle that may be critical for becoming pregnant, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Melissa J. Perry, Sc.D., M.H.S., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the effect of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT) and its isomers and metabolites on the levels of reproductive hormones in 287 newly married Chinese women. Serum DDT was measured at enrollment and urinary hormone levels were measured daily for one year or until pregnancy was achieved.

After adjusting for covariates, the researchers found an inverse relationship between DDT and estrone conjugate levels during the periovulation phase and between DDT and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide levels during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

"These results support the potential for DDT to be associated with decrements in estrogen and progesterone levels at times during the menstrual cycle that are critical for ovulation and early pregnancy maintenance," Perry and colleagues conclude.

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