Sunscreen Ingredient May Be Linked to Risk of Endometriosis

Higher urinary concentration of benzophenone-type derivatives ups odds of endometriosis diagnosis

FRIDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Benzophenone (BP)-type derivatives may be linked to an increased risk of endometriosis, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of Environmental Science & Technology.

Tatsuya Kunisue, from the State University of New York at Albany, and colleagues analyzed urine samples from 625 women in Utah and California using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The association with a diagnosis of endometriosis was examined in 600 women who underwent laparoscopy/laparotomy (473 women; operative cohort) or pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (127 women; population cohort).

The researchers found that the detection rate for 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone (2OH-4MeO-BP), 2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone (2,4OH-BP), and 4-hydroxybenzophenone (4OH-BP) in urine samples was 99.0, 93.3, and 83.8 percent, respectively. Urinary concentrations of 2OH-4MeO-BP and 2,4OH-BP were higher in California during the months of July and August and in more affluent, older, and leaner women. The odds of endometriosis increased across quartiles of 2OH-4MeO-BP and 2,4OH-BP concentrations. The trend between 2,4OH-BP and the odds of an endometriosis diagnosis only reached significance in the operative cohort (odds ratio, 1.19). The odds of endometriosis increased when comparing the women in the highest quartile of 2,4OH-BP concentration and the women in the first three quartiles (odds ratio, 1.65).

"Our results suggest that exposure to elevated 2,4OH-BP levels may be associated with increased odds of an endometriosis diagnosis," the authors write. "These exploratory findings await epidemiologic corroboration and support the need for mechanistic studies aimed at delineating the potential endocrine disruption properties of 2,4OH-BP."

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