2003 Progress Report: Dioxins, Male Pubertal Development and Testis Function

EPA Grant Number: R829437
Title: Dioxins, Male Pubertal Development and Testis Function
Investigators: Hauser, Russ , Korrick, Susan A. , Lasley, Bill L. , Lee, Mary , Overstreet, James W. , Revich, Boris , Sergeyev, Oleg , Williams, Paige L. , Zeilert, Vladamir
Current Investigators: Hauser, Russ , Korrick, Susan A. , Williams, Paige L.
Institution: Harvard Medical School , Chapaevsk Medical Association , Duke University Medical Center , Russian Academy of Sciences , University of California - Davis
Current Institution: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
EPA Project Officer: Hunt, Sherri
Project Period: December 1, 2001 through November 30, 2005 (Extended to February 3, 2008)
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 1, 2002 through November 30, 2003
Project Amount: $2,252,427
RFA: Endocrine Disruptors: Epidemiologic Approaches (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Economics and Decision Sciences , Health , Safer Chemicals , Endocrine Disruptors


The objective of this research project isto determine whether exposure to dioxins, a byproduct of industrial processes and an environmental contaminant, is associated with altered growth and sexual maturation in boys. The specific objectives of this research project are to:

  1. explore whether physical growth is delayed and stunted;
  2. explore whether sexual maturation is delayed;
  3. and explore whether reproductive hormones are altered. Dioxin levels will be measured in blood samples drawn from the boys and their mothers.

Yearly physical examinations will be performed to assess growth velocity and onset and tempo of sexual maturation. Questionnaire data will be collected on birth and medical history, as well as lifestyle factors. Statistical modeling will be used to explore the relationship between serum levels of dioxin and altered physical growth and sexual maturation.

Progress Summary:

During the previous year, the computer databases were finalized and field tested with our Russian collaborators. The resulting database will contain more than 1,000 variables, including questions on diet, birth history, medical history, and lifestyle factors of the child and his parents. The nurse interviewing the boys and their mother will enter the data directly into the computer, avoiding delays caused by manual data entry, as well as reducing the potential for data entry errors.

We began recruitment of 8- and 9-year-old boys and their families (mothers and fathers). To date, we have recruited 180 families. Our participation rate is very high, more than 90 percent. We anticipate recruiting 320 additional boys and their families to assemble the cohort of 500 boys. Yearly followup on boys recruited this year will be performed.

We currently are performing a statistical analysis to identify predictors of serum levels of dioxins, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls. The primary predictors of interest include: the boys’ age, distance that the boys and mothers live from the Himprom factories (a primary source of environmental dioxin contamination), and dietary intake of locally grown food (meats, dairy, and produce). We are working closely with a Russian scientist to generate geographic information system maps of the boys’/mothers’ homes in relation to the Himprom factories.

Future Activities:

We will recruit a total of 500 8 and 9-year-old boys for a prospective cohort study. All of the boys will undergo a physical exam, have blood drawn, provide a urine sample, and complete a detailed questionnaire with their mothers. The boys’ mothers also will have blood drawn. We then will follow these boys yearly until age 18, when we can assess reproductive fitness by collecting a semen sample.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 10 publications 8 publications in selected types All 8 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Lee MM, Sergeyev O, Williams P, Korrick S, Zeilert V, Revich B, Hauser R. Physical growth and sexual maturation of boys in Chapaevsk, Russia. Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism 2003;16(2):169-178. R829437 (2003)
R829437 (2006)
R829437 (2007)
R829437 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Reference Global
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    dioxin, puberty, cohort, reproduction, testis, adolescents, adolescence, Chapaevsk, Russia, hypospadias, cryptochidism, health, physical aspects, toxics, biochemistry, biology, children’s health, endocrine disruptors, environmental exposure and risk, human health, health risk assessment, molecular biology, risk assessments, pesticides, EDCs, cell-cell interactions, chemical interference, developmental biology, embryonic development, endocrine disrupting chemicals, exposure, fetal development, gonad morphology, human exposure, human growth and development, human health risk, male fertility, male sexual development, neurotropin growth, paracine growth factors, physiology, postnatal development, Sertoli cells, sexual development, testis development, children, growth, maturation,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Health Risk Assessment, pesticides, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, endocrine disruptors, Risk Assessments, Biochemistry, Children's Health, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Biology, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, puberty, dioxin, neurotropin growth, male sexual development, cell-cell interactions, testis development, EDCs, endocrine disrupting chemicals, sexual development, sertoli cells, developmental biology, hypospadias, human exposure, human growth and development, physiology, fetal development, chemical interference, embryonic development, gonad morphology, testis function, human health risk, postnatal development, paracine growth factors

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • Final Report