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19-09-2011 | Diabetes | Article

Bisphenol A levels related to diabetes risk


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MedWire News: Urinary bisphenol A levels are not associated with risk for developing diabetes, research shows.

Previous research has suggested that exposure to bisphenol A, which is widely used in plastics and the coatings of metal cans, may contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

However, the new study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, shows no such association.

Guang Ning (Shanghai Jiao-Tong University, China) and team conducted a two-phase cross-sectional study of 3423 Chinese adults who they categorized into three groups according to their diabetes status (normal glucose regulation [NGR], impaired glucose regulation [IGR], or overt diabetes).

They then randomly selected participants from each group to receive a comprehensive examination that included a detailed questionnaire, anthropometric measurements, a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test, and blood and urine collection.

The authors found there was no clear association between urinary bisphenol A levels and Type 2 diabetes.

The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of Type 2 diabetes was 1.30 for participants in the second bisphenol A quartile (0.48-0.81 ng/mL), 1.09 for those in the third quartile (0.82-1.43 ng/mL), and 1.37 for those in the fourth quartile (>1.43 ng/mL), compared with those in the first (lowest) quartile.

Further analysis confirmed that the trend was not statistically significant.

The authors say their findings conflict with those of a recent analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which concluded that higher urinary bisphenol A concentrations may be associated with self-reported adverse health outcomes, including diabetes.

"Bisphenol A could be a marker of consumption of sugared drinks in plastic bottles. In the absence of reliable dietary measures, any observational study that detects an association could actually be detecting the association between higher exposure to sugared drinks and type 2 diabetes," suggest the authors.

The team is continuing to gather data about Type 2 diabetes incidence in a prospective study that will provide more robust evidence to support or refute the previously reported association.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sally Robertson