Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health








School of Engineering




University of Western Australia / Curtin University / Telethon Kids Institute / Women and Infants Research Foundation (WIRF) / Edith Cowan University / Murdoch University / University of Notre Dame Australia / Raine Medical Research Foundation /

Grant Number

NHMRC Numbers : 211912, 003209, 403981, 353514, 634445, 1053384, 733206

Grant Link


Berman, Y. E. E., Doherty, D. A., Mori, T. A., Beilin, L. J., Ayonrinde, O. T., Adams, L. A., ... & Hart, R. J. (2022). Associations between prenatal exposure to phthalates and features of the metabolic syndrome in males from childhood into adulthood. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(22), 15244.


Phthalate metabolites are detectable within the majority of the population. Evidence suggests that a prenatal exposure to phthalates may be associated with the subsequent risks of obesity and elevated blood pressure. We hypothesised that a prenatal exposure to phthalates would lead to an increase in adverse cardiometabolic parameters through childhood and adulthood. The maternal serum phthalate measurements from the stored samples taken from Gen1 mothers at 18 and 34 weeks gestation were examined in relation to the cardiometabolic measures in 387 male offspring from the Raine Study. Data from the Gen2 follow-ups between 3 and 27 years were used. The primary outcomes were analysed longitudinally using linear mixed models for the repeated measures. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was assessed at 17 years using logistic regression. A consistent positive relationship was observed between a prenatal exposure to mono-carboxy-iso-octyl phthalate (MCiOP) through adolescence into adulthood with systolic blood pressure. There were no other consistent cardiovascular associations. Mid-levels of prenatal exposures to Mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) were associated with a greater incidence of NAFLD. Detectable Mono-3-carboxypropyl phthalate (MCPP) was associated with a lower serum HDL-C through late childhood into adulthood, while a higher prenatal exposure to mono-iso-butyl phthalate (MiBP), was associated with a higher LDL-C at 22 years of age. A mid-level prenatal exposure to mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) metabolites was associated with higher insulin in adulthood, while a higher prenatal exposure to the sum of the Di-(2-ethyl-hexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and Di-iso-nonyl phthalate (DiNP) metabolites was associated with higher fasting serum glucose in adulthood. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that higher prenatal phthalate exposures to some phthalate metabolites was associated with some adverse metabolic profiles through adolescence into adulthood, although the consistent themes were limited to a few metabolites and the outcomes of systolic blood pressure, fasting insulin and glucose.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.