POPDIAB: "Relationship between blood concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and regional difference in risk of type 2 diabetes in Germany" (2016)

Study objective:

Type 2 diabetes prevalence was about two-fold higher in Halle (CARLA Study) than in Augsburg (KORA Study). To explore this regional difference in both studies we compared blood concentrations of POP (organochlorine pesticides, PCB) in participants who developed type 2 diabetes with non-diabetic age- and sex-matched controls. Moreover, we conducted analyses in the non-diabetic controls on the association of POP concentrations with insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and inflammation as potential pathophysiological pathways.

Specific objectives:

  1. To compare concentrations of several pesticides (DDE, beta-HCH, PCB 138,151,180) in blood samples of participants of KORA (Augsburg) and CARLA (Halle),
  2. To determine the association of specific pesticides with incident type 2 diabetes in both regions,
  3. To determine the mediating effect of BMI and distribution of fat mass (waist circumference) on this association,
  4. To analyze to which extent pesticide concentrations explain regional differences (Halle vs. Augsburg) in type 2 diabetes independent from traditional risk factors (age, sex, BMI, lifestyle habits) and socioeconomic disparities,
  5. To explore in controls without (pre-) diabetes the association of specific pesticides with HbA1c and high-sensitivity (hs) C-reactive protein in KORA and CARLA,
  6. To explore in controls without (pre-) diabetes the association of specific pesticides and additional blood markers such as fasting insulin and HOMA-IR.

Study design:

Case-control study.

POP concentrations were determined in blood samples from baseline (KORA S4: 1999-2001 and CARLA: 2002-05). Diabetes incidence and blood markers were taken from the follow-up studies (KORA F4: 2006-08 and CARLA F1: 2007-09).

Study population:
Cases: 60 incident diabetic individuals from KORA and CARLA each.
Controls: 120 sex-and age-matched individuals from KORA and CARLA each.

Study area:

Augsburg and Halle, Germany.

Current status:

Project completed; paper drafting and further analyses are ongoing.


German Diabetes Center, Institute of Biometrics and Epidemiology: Wolfgang Rathmann, Teresa Tamayo.

Helmholtz Zentrum München:
Institute of Molecular Exposomics: Karl-Werner Schramm
Institute of Epidemiology II: Alexandra Schneider, Kathrin Wolf, Annette Peters.


DZD grant 2016.

Back to overview