The main objective of this study was to establish background levels of serum PCDD/Fs and biochemistry of residents living near municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) which had been operating between 1 and 8 years, and also to examine the association between the serum PCDD/Fs levels and health outcomes of interest. Information on medical history, life-style, and dietary habits was obtained by questionnaire interview. Significantly elevated levels of glucose and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were found in those with low to high serum PCDD/Fs levels (p < 0.05), and PCDD/Fs levels were found to be positively associated with glucose levels, and marginally with GGT levels even after adjusting for age, sex, BMI and smoking status. Although no conclusive findings on health disorder were associated with the accumulation of serum PCDD/Fs in our study participants, we suggest that the current biochemistry examinations only reflect partially the physiological change in glucose modulation and liver function. However, the low serum PCDD/Fs level does not seem to be sufficient in eliciting pathological process for diabetes or liver-related diseases. The findings suggest that the human body's biochemistry functions such as liver and glucose modulation were affected by PCDD/Fs exposure at even these low serum PCDD/Fs levels found in the general population. Other biochemical functions therefore should be further analyzed, especially for hormone-related and immune functions.
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