Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 GP232 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.GP232

Can phthalates impair liver function?

Milica Medic-Stojanoska1,2, Natasa Milosevic1, Maja Milanovic1, Stefan Stojanoski1,3, Bojan Vukovic1,2, Tijana Icin1,2, Ivana Bajkin1,2, Kristina Stepanovic1,2, Jan Sudji1 & Natasa Milic1


1University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Medicine, Novi Sad, Serbia; 2Clinical Center of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia; 3Oncology Institute of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, Serbia.


Introduction: The impairment of liver function and enhancement for NAFLD development may be attributed to the ubiquitous exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals such as phthalates. In this study the urinary levels of monoethyl phthalate (MEP) and mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) were compared with the parameters of hepatic function and lipids in overweight, diabetic patients and normal weight population.

Methods and patients: In 305 volunteers of both genders who were divided into three groups based on the body mass index, waist circumference and glucose levels: I -obese with central obesity, II -patients with diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) treated only with medical nutrition therapy and III-control, normal weight healthy volunteers, phthalate metabolites concentration was determined in the morning spot urine.

Results: The urine samples from 66 volunteers were positive on MEP while 72 were positive on MEHP. Aspartate Aminotrasferase (AST) and Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) concentrations differed significantly between MEP+ and MEP- normal weight healthy volunteers (P=0.02 and P=0.01, respectively) while significantly higher Gamma-Glutamyl transferase GGT levels were observed in MEHP+ control subgroup (P=0.017). The positive correlation was observed between AST, ALT and log10MEP levels in obese patients (P=0.02 and P=0.05). GGT positively correlated with MEP concentration in T2DM patients (P=0.048). Negative correlation was found between log10MEP values in the control group and both total cholesterol and LDL levels (P=0.0051 and P=0.0015, respectively) while in obese group MEP was positively associated with serum triglycerides (P=0.024). The log10MEHP in the control group was correlated negatively with serum HDL (P=0.0035). BMI was significantly increased (P=0.044) in BMI in MEHP+ control subgroup compared to MEHP-.

Conclusions: The ubiquitous exposure to phthalates may be related to the impairment of normal liver function according to the results obtained in this study.

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