Reduced adiponectin:leptin ratio associated with inhalation exposure to vinyl chloride monomer

Ching Chang Lee, Ying Shen, Chun Wei Hsu, Jer Pei Fong, Shi Nian Uang, Jung Wei Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The hepatic toxicity of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) has often been reported, but few studies have assessed insulin resistance or adipose tissue dysfunction. We analyzed the chronic health effects of moderate exposure to VCM on factory workers in Taiwan. Data were collected from personal air samples, urine samples, and immunohistochemical (IHC) examinations of 122 recruited voluntary participants. Air samples were analyzed to assess personal levels of exposure to VCM and ethylene dichloride (EDC). Urine samples were collected from each worker before they started and after they finished their daily shift. Urinary thiodiglycolic acid (TDGA) levels were analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS/MS). IHC examinations included liver function and serum adipokine level tests for insulin resistance. Consequently, the participants included for the final analysis were 113. After confounders had been adjusted for, the airborne VCM concentration significantly (P = 0.043) correlated with pre-shift urinary TDGA levels (β = 0.194). A multivariate analysis showed a significant (P = 0.013) inverse correlation between the adiponectin:leptin ratio and the airborne VCM concentration (β = −0.283), which means that exposure to VCM might increase the risk of insulin resistance and adiponectin abnormalities. We hypothesized that pre-shift urinary TDGA levels can be used as exposure biomarkers for the exposure of workers to VCM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135488
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2020


  • Adiponectin:leptin ratio
  • Insulin resistance
  • TDGA
  • Vinyl chloride monomer


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