Relationship between Blood Trihalomethane Concentrations and Serum Thyroid Function Measures in U.S. Adults

Yang Sun, Peng Fei Xia, T. I.M. Korevaar, Vicente Mustieles, Yu Zhang, Xiong Fei Pan, Yi Xin Wang*, Carmen Messerlian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Toxicological studies show that exposure to disinfection byproducts, including trihalomethanes (THMs), negatively affects thyroid function; however, few epidemiological studies have explored this link. This study included 2233 adults (ages ≥20 years) from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) who were measured for blood THM concentrations [chloroform (TCM), bromodichloromethane (BDCM), dibromochloromethane (DBCM), or bromoform (TBM)] and serum thyroid function biomarkers [thyroid-stimulating hormone, free thyroxine (FT4), total thyroxine (TT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3), total triiodothyronine (TT3), thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), and thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb)]. Multivariable linear regression models showed positive associations between blood TCM, BDCM, and total THMs (the sum of all four THMs) concentrations and serum FT4, whereas inverse associations were found between blood DBCM and total brominated THM (Br-THM; the sum of BDCM, DBCM, and TBM) concentrations and serum TT3 (all p < 0.05). Besides, positive associations were observed between blood TCM concentrations and FT4/FT3 ratio, between BDCM, DBCM, and Br-THM concentrations and TT4/TT3 ratio, and between DBCM and Br-THM concentrations and FT3/TT3 ratio (all p < 0.05). Blood THM concentrations were unrelated to the serum levels of thyroid autoantibodies TgAb or TPOAb. In summary, exposure to THMs was associated with altered serum biomarkers of thyroid function but not with thyroid autoimmunity among U.S. adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14087-14094
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant numbers 81903281] and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers R01ES031657].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.


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