TOWIE girls watch out! Women who use nail varnish and hairspray 'have higher risk of diabetes'
Personal care products often contain phthalates, which can mimic human hormones
09:31 GMT, 16 July 2012
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High-maintenance women who cover themselves in self-tan and hair spray may be at higher risk of developing diabetes, researchers say.
A team from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said they had found a link between phthalates – a class of chemicals found in these products – and the metabolic disease.
They found that women who had the highest concentrations of the chemicals in their bodies had up to double the risk of developing diabetes compared to those with the lowest concentrations.
They also found a link between high concentrations of phthalates and insulin resistance among women – which is often a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.
Phthalates are a group of man-made chemicals found in a range of personal care products, including nail varnish, shampoos and soaps. They are also found in plastics and packaging. They can mimic the body's natural hormones.
The researchers analysed information from of 2,350 American women aged 20 to 80 who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2001 and 2008.
As part of the survey, participants underwent physical exams and provided urine samples and 217 reported having diabetes.
Women who had the highest levels of two chemicals – mono-benzyl
phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate – in their urine samples were
nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as women with the lowest levels
of those chemicals, the study found.
People with diabetes must check their blood glucose levels regularly
Women with moderately high levels of the chemicals mono-n-butyl
phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate had approximately a 70 per cent
increased risk of diabetes. These findings held even when other risk-factors were taken into account, such as how many calories the women consumed.
Writing in Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers said it was possible that the chemicals increased the risk of diabetes indirectly by
interfering with the metabolism of fat tissue, as this can lead to insulin resistance.
The latest study joins a growing body of research highlighting health concerns about phthalates.
Researchers from the Children's Environmental Health Center at The Mount Sinai Medical Center found a link between obesity in young children and exposure to phthalates. They said their study emphasised the importance of reducing exposure to the chemicals where possible.