Publications : 2013

Chen Q, Jiang X, Hedgeman E, Knutson K, Gillespie B, Hong B, Lepkowski JM, Franzblau A, Jolliet O, Adriaens P, Demond AH, Garabrant DH. 2013. Estimation of age-and sex-specific background human serum concentrations of PCDDs, PCDFs, and PCBs in the UMDES and NHANES populations. Chemosphere 91(6):817-23.


Age- and sex-specific estimates of serum dioxin concentrations are important for comparisons among populations. However, such comparisons are problematic because populations have different age and sex structures and values are typically reported only in broad age ranges that are not comparable across studies. There are few studies that report congener-specific serum concentrations, and none that provide these by sex for age as a continuous function. We combined the NHANES 2003–2004 data with the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study (UMDES) referent population 2005 data to achieve stable and accurate estimates of mean and quantiles of serum dioxins by sex over ages 18–85. Survey-weighted linear and quantile regression models were fitted on the combined data with the log-transformed congener concentration as outcome and age, sex, and data source as covariates. Formulas are provided to allow calculations of age- and sex-specific mean and quantile estimates over ages 18–85. For instance, the geometric mean, median, 75th percentile, and 95th percentile of serum TEQ for men aged 50 can be estimated, respectively, from the formulas as 18.33, 19.02, 22.60, and 30.37 pg g−1 lipids among the Michigan general population, and as 15.71, 15.89, 22.60, and 29.90 pg g−1 lipids among US non-Hispanic whites. These methods and results are useful for comparing the congener-specific human serum dioxin concentrations in any individual to the general population mean, median, 75th percentile, and 95th percentile, and for comparing the serum dioxin concentration in any group of interest to the US and the Michigan general populations.