Environ Res. 2021 Jan;192:110226. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110226. Epub 2020 Sep 22.
BACKGROUND: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been phased out of production for nearly a decade yet are still frequently detected in serum of U.S. adults. PBDE concentrations have been associated with adverse reproductive outcomes and laboratory studies suggest hydroxylated-BDEs (OH-BDEs) may act as endocrine disruptors. We set out to assess the joint effects of paternal and maternal serum PBDE concentrations on in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes and the association between paternal serum OH-BDE concentrations and IVF outcomes.
METHODS: This analysis included 189 couples (contributing 285 IVF cycles) recruited between 2006 and 2016 from a longitudinal cohort based at Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center who completed at least one IVF cycle and had an available blood sample at study entry. Congeners (47, 99, 100, 153, and 154) and OH-BDEs (3-OH-BDE47, 5-OH-BDE47, 6-OH-BDE47 and 4-OH-BDE49) were quantified in serum. Log-transformed PBDEs and OH-BDEs were modeled in quartiles for associations with IVF outcomes using multivariable generalized mixed models and cluster weighted generalized estimating equations.
RESULTS: Lipid-adjusted concentrations of PBDEs and OH-BDEs were higher in females than in male partners. There were no clear patterns of increases in risk of adverse IVF outcomes associated with PBDEs and OH-BDEs. However, some decreases in associations with IVF outcomes were observed in isolated quartiles.
CONCLUSIONS: Our assessment of couple level exposure is unique and highlights the importance of including male and female exposures in the assessment of the influence of environmental toxicants on pregnancy outcomes.