Environmental Chemicals and Type II Diabetes

Young onset type 2 diabetes is an important emerging public health problem. The goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of persistent organic chemicals, including organochlorine compounds, perfluoroalkyl substances, and brominated flame retardants, on susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in youth. Our overarching hypothesis is that the burden of exposure to multiple environmental chemicals may increase susceptibility to T2D in youth.

Our multidisciplinary team of investigators proposes to test this hypothesis in a discovery longitudinal cohort of Hispanic adolescents at risk for T2D with existing gold standard clinical assessments of glucose homeostasis, insulin secretion, and β-cell function (the Study of Latino Adolescents at Diabetes Risk, SOLAR), and to replicate findings and examine generalizability in a longitudinal cohort of similar design with a representative sample of Hispanic and non-Hispanic youth (MetaCHEM sub-cohort; Children Health Study, CHS).

Quantifying the potential contribution of environmental pollutants to diabetes is of critical importance since many such exposures are modifiable, and early intervention has the potential for significant public health benefit.

This project is supported by NIEHS R01 ES029944.