In a new study published online on April 15, 2015 in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal PLoS ONE, researchers investigate the associations between socio-demographic status, lifestyle factors, dietary patterns and urinary phthalate concentration in South-Australian men. Bai and colleagues randomly selected 1527 males from the Men Androgen Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress (MAILES) study, a prospectively-followed cohort of urban community-dwelling men. The researchers collected first-morning urine samples from the participants after an overnight fast. Total phthalates were measured in the samples using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Socio-demographic and lifestyle factors as well as food intake were assessed via questionnaires and dietary patterns were then constructed using factor analysis. Total phthalates were detected in 99.6% of the urine samples. The researchers found lifestyle factors and dietary habits contribute more to phthalate exposure than socio-demographic status. Dietary intake was identified as a major route of phthalate exposure, with carbonated soft drink being an important contributor. As individuals consuming more fatty foods are more likely to have a high concentration of phthalates in the body, the researchers recommended adopting a healthy lifestyle as one of the exposure-reduction options.

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Bai, P. Y. et al. (2015). “The association of socio-demographic status, lifestyle factors and dietary patterns with total urinary phthalates in Australian men.PLoS ONE 10(4), open access.