Chemical exposure linked to 1.4 million euros in health costs women ;
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can contribute to reproductive health problems experienced by hundreds of thousands of women, costing European Union an estimated € 1.4 billion ($ 1.5 billion) a year in costs health care and the potential loss of revenue, according to a new study published in the of the Endocrine Society Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism .
The study examined rates benign uterine fibroid tumors in the uterus that can contribute to infertility and other health problems -and a painful condition called endometriosis often where the tissue that normally lines the uterus takes place in other parts of the body. Both conditions are common, with as many as 70 percent of Women affected by at least one of the disorders.
Research has linked the development of endometriosis and uterine fibroids chemicals found in pesticides, cosmetics, toys and food packaging. Previous studies suggest a byproduct of the pesticide DDT, a chemical known as DDE, can increase the risk of developing uterine fibroids. Another group of chemicals called phthalates, which are found in plastics and cosmetics, has been linked to increased risk of endometriosis.
DDT and phthalates are known endocrine disruptors (EDC) . EDC can contribute to health problems by mimicking, blocking or otherwise interfere with the body’s hormones – the signaling system that the body uses to determine how cells develop and grow. Unborn children are particularly vulnerable due to exposure during key points in the development may increase the risk of health problems later in life.
“The data show that the protection of women against exposure to endocrine disruptors could substantially reduce rates of disease and lower health care and other social costs of these conditions,” said Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine and Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center.
The study is part of a series of economic analyzes that found exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals may be costing the EU € more than 157 billion ($ 173 million) a year. Previous studies of the series examined the costs associated with infertility and male reproductive disorders, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological behavior and learning disorders.
To assess the economic burden of exposure EDC, a group of scientists convened a panel of world experts EDC to adapt the cost models of existing environmental health, based on the Institute of Medicine 1981 approach to the assessment of the contribution of environmental factors in causing the disease. Based on the established body of literature, researchers evaluated the likelihood that EDCs contributed to various medical conditions and disorders.
researchers only consider endometriosis and uterine fibroids in the analysis because there is no solid data on its incidence and its association with endocrine disrupting chemical exposure. Researchers estimate that 145,000 cases of endometriosis and uterine fibroids 56,700 cases in Europe could be attributed to exposure to endocrine disruptors.
“Although these two gynecologic conditions affect millions of women around the world, we recognize that this analysis reflects only the tip of the iceberg,” Trasande said. “A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure EDC is linked to a broader set of female reproductive problems range, including syndrome, infertility and complications of polycystic ovarian pregnancy. These conditions also place a significant economic burden on women, their families and society as a whole. ”
Economic analysis includes direct costs of hospitalization, medical services, and other medical expenses. The researchers also calculated estimates of indirect costs such as lost productivity associated with these disorders often painful.
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