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Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Tang-Peronard J.L.,University of Southern Denmark | Tang-Peronard J.L.,Copenhagen University | Heitmann B.L.,Copenhagen University | Heitmann B.L.,University of Southern Denmark | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2014

Background: Chemicals with endocrine-disrupting abilities may act as obesogens and interfere with the body's natural weight-control mechanisms, especially if exposure occurs during prenatal life. Objective: We examined the association between prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p,p′ -dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and subsequent obesity at 5 and 7 y of age. Design: From 1997 to 2000, 656 pregnant Faroese women were recruited. PCB and DDE were measured in maternal serum and breast milk, and children's weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) were measured at clinical examinations at 5 and 7 y of age. The change in body mass index (BMI) from 5 to 7 y of age was calculated. Analyses were performed by using multiple linear regression models for girls and boys separately, taking into account maternal prepregnancy BMI. Results: For 7-y-old girls who had overweight mothers, PCB was associated with increased BMI (β = 2.07, P = 0.007), and PCB and DDE were associated with an increased change in BMI from 5 to 7 y of age (PCB: β = 1.23, P = 0.003; DDE: β = 1.11, P = 0.008). No association was observed with BMI in girls with normal-weight mothers. PCB was associated with increased WC in girls with overweight mothers (β = 2.48, P = 0.001) and normal-weight mothers (β = 1.25, P = 0.04); DDE was associated with increased WC only in girls with overweight mothers (β = 2.21, P = 0.002). No associations were observed between PCB or DDE and BMI in 5-y-old girls. For boys, no associations were observed. Conclusions: Results suggest that prenatal exposure to PCB and DDE may play a role for subsequent obesity development. Girls whose mothers have a high prepregnancy BMI seem most affected. © 2014 American Society for Nutrition. Source

Dalgard C.,University of Southern Denmark | Petersen M.S.,Faroese Hospital System | Weihe P.,University of Southern Denmark | Grandjean P.,University of Southern Denmark | Grandjean P.,Harvard University
Diabetes Care | Year: 2011

OBJECTIVE - Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be a risk factor for development of type 2 diabetes, and elderly subjects at northern latitudes may therefore be at particular risk. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Vitamin D status was assessed from serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] in 668 Faroese residents aged 70-74 years (64% of eligible population). We determined type 2 diabetes prevalence from past medical histories, fasting plasma concentrations of glucose, and/or glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). RESULTS - We observed 70 (11%) new type 2 diabetic subjects, whereas 88 (13%) were previously diagnosed. Having vitamin D status <50 nmol/L doubled the risk of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes after adjustment for BMI, sex, exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, serum triacylglyceride concentration, serum HDL concentration, smoking status, and month of blood sampling. Furthermore, theHbA1c concentration decreased at higher serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations independent of covariates. CONCLUSIONS - In elderly subjects, vitamin D sufficiency may provide protection against type 2 diabetes. Because the study is cross-sectional, intervention studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin D could be used to prevent development of type 2 diabetes. © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association. Source

Dalgard C.,University of Southern Denmark | Petersen M.S.,Faroese Hospital System | Schmedes A.V.,Lillebaelt Hospital | Brandslund I.,Lillebaelt Hospital | And 3 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2010

Human subjects obtain their vitamin D from the diet, especially from marine food, and from endogenous synthesis following cutaneous sun exposure. The risk of an insufficient vitamin D synthesis is increased in northern populations, but it may be counteracted by a high intake of marine food in fishing populations, e.g. at the Faroe Islands. We examined the vitamin D status and its statistical determinants in a cross-sectional study of 713 elderly Faroese aged 70-74 years, about two-thirds of all the eligible residents in this age group. Clinical examination included measurement of body weight and height, and marine food intake was estimated using a questionnaire. We measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (S-25(OH)D3) by LC-MS/MS in 669 of the 713 subjects in whom sufficient serum was available. Of the population, 19% had S-25(OH)D3 concentrations <25nmol/l, and only 103% of the population had S-25(OH)D3 concentrations >80nmol/l. In a logistic regression analysis, BMI <30kg/m2, blood sampling in summer season, eating pilot whale blubber more than once per month and female sex were positively associated with vitamin D levels >80nmol/l. The high prevalence of low vitamin D levels among the elderly Faroese population reflects the low skin synthesis during most months of the year, which is caused by the limited sun exposure and insufficient benefits from marine diet. Thus, even in a population with a high intake of marine food, the northern latitude causes a low vitamin D status. Efforts to improve vitamin D status in this population are warranted. Copyright © The Authors 2010. Source

Grandjean P.,Harvard University | Grandjean P.,University of Southern Denmark | Andersen E.W.,Copenhagen University | Budtz-Jorgensen E.,Copenhagen University | And 4 more authors.
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association | Year: 2012

Context: Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have emerged as important food contaminants. They cause immune suppression in a rodent model at serum concentrations similar to those occurring in the US population, but adverse health effects of PFC exposure are poorly understood. Objective: To determine whether PFC exposure is associated with antibody response to childhood vaccinations. Design, Setting, and Participants: Prospective study of a birth cohort from the National Hospital in the Faroe Islands. A total of 656 consecutive singleton births were recruited during 1999-2001, and 587 participated in follow-up through 2008. Main Outcome Measures: Serum antibody concentrations against tetanus and diphtheria toxoids at ages 5 and 7 years. Results: Similar to results of prior studies in the United States, the PFCs with the highest serum concentrations were perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Among PFCs in maternal pregnancy serum, PFOS showed the strongest negative correlations with antibody concentrations at age 5 years, for which a 2-fold greater concentration of exposure was associated with a difference of -39% (95% CI, -55% to -17%) in the diphtheria antibody concentration. PFCs in the child's serum at age 5 years showed uniformly negative associations with antibody levels, especially at age 7 years, except that the tetanus antibody level following PFOS exposure was not statistically significant. In a structural equation model, a 2-fold greater concentration of major PFCs in child serum was associated with a difference of -49% (95% CI, -67% to -23%) in the overall antibody concentration. A 2-fold increase in PFOS and PFOA concentrations at age 5 years was associated with odds ratios between 2.38 (95% CI, 0.89 to 6.35) and 4.20 (95% CI, 1.54 to 11.44) for falling below a clinically protective level of 0.1 IU/mL for tetanus and diphtheria antibodies at age 7 years. Conclusion: Elevated exposures to PFCs were associated with reduced humoral immune response to routine childhood immunizations in children aged 5 and 7 years. ©2012 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. Source

Malm O.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Dorea J.G.,University of Brasilia | Barbosa A.C.,University of Brasilia | Pinto F.N.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Weihe P.,Faroese Hospital System
Environmental Research | Year: 2010

Riverine populations of the Brazilian Amazon depend on fish for their principal source of protein, which changes in availability with seasonal fluctuations in the aquatic ecosystem. We report seasonal (high and low waters) and interannual changes in total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in hair of subsistence fish-eaters from a traditional riverine village on the banks of the Rio Tapajós in the Brazilian Amazonia. Retrospective exposure assessment was conducted from hair concentrations in segments representative of 2 years. A total of 32 mothers and their 51 children were studied. They reported high fish consumption (4-14 times a week). Ranges of total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in hair were 1.0-51.0 and 0.5-41.4γgg-1, with means of 12.4 and 10.2γgg-1, respectively. The relative mean value for methylmercury was 80%. There was a significant correlation between mothers and children for both total-Hg (r=0.4826; P=0.003) and methyl-Hg (r=0.5214; P=0.004). Mercury concentrations along hair strands of individuals showed significant variation coinciding with seasonal high and low waters. The changes in the aquatic environment impacted fish species availability, which is reflected in the total and MeHg concentrations in hair. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. Source

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