Organochloride Pesticides in Macedonian Girls With Premature Sexual Development
Premature sexual development (PSD) in girls describes the appearance of secondary sexual signs before the age of 8 years. Early puberty is diagnosed if pubertal signs appear between the age of 8 and 9 years. We found a positive association between the levels of organochloride pesticides (p,p'-DDE) in precocious puberty in girls adopted from developing countries and significantly higher levels than in native Belgian girls with the same condition.
We have compared the serum levels of eight p,p'- DDE in 56 Macedonian girls with PSD and a control group of 24 normal, age-matched girls, using a gas chromatographic analyzer coupled to a tandem mass spectrometer detector. Of the 56 girls with PSD, 42 had premature thelarche, five had early puberty, and nine had precocious puberty of idiopathic (n = 8) or organic (n = 1) origin. We found traces of p,p'- DDE in nine girls (16%) and negative results in 41 (73%), while the remaining six (10%) had a mean level of 1.17 ± 0.7 μg/L. In the control group, traces were found in one girl (4%) and negative results in 18 (75%), while the remaining five (20%) had a mean level of 1.18 ± 0.6 μg/L. We found elevated levels of lindane in the girls with PSD (mean value 1.2 ± 0.8) and significantly higher levels in the control group (1.4 ± 0.8) (p <0.05). We concluded that Macedonian girls with PSD do not have higher levels of p,p'-DDE in their serum than the normal controls. However, the elevated levels of lindane in this population should be further investigated.
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