Association between phthalate exposure and the risk of depressive symptoms in the adult population of the United States

Chien Ju Wang, Hui Wen Yang, Ming Chieh Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research has suggested an association between phthalate exposure and depressive symptoms, but the evidence is limited. Our study aimed to examine the association between phthalate exposure and the risk of depressive symptoms in the US adult population. We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2018 to analyze the association between urinary phthalates and depressive symptoms. We included 11 urinary phthalate metabolites in our analysis and used the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to assess the presence of depression among study participants. Participants were divided into quartiles for each urinary phthalate metabolite, and we evaluated the association using a generalized linear mixed model with a logit link and binary distribution. A total of 7340 participants were included in the final analysis. After controlling for potential confounders, we found a positive association between the molar sum of di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) metabolites and depressive symptoms, with an odds ratio of 1.30 (95% CI = 1.02–1.66) for the highest compared to the lowest quartile. In addition, we found positive associations of mono (2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (MEHHP) and mono (2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (MECPP) with depressive symptoms, with odds ratios of 1.43 (95% CI = 1.12–1.81, p for trend = 0.02) and 1.44 (95% CI = 1.13–1.84, p for trend = 0.02), respectively, when comparing the highest quartile to the lowest quartile. In conclusion, this study is the first to identify a positive association between DEHP metabolites and the risk of depressive symptoms in the general adult population in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139031
JournalChemosphere
Volume334
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept

Keywords

  • DEHP
  • Depression
  • MECCP
  • MEHHP
  • NHANES
  • Phthalate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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