Influence of dioxin-related compounds on physical function in Yusho incident victims

Jun ichi Fukushi, Hidetoshi Tsushima, Yoshihiro Matsumoto, Chikage Mitoma, Masutaka Furue, Hisaaki Miyahara, Yasuharu Nakashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Few studies have examined the influence of dioxin-related compounds on human physical function, and existing results are inconsistent. In 1968, accidental human exposure to rice oil contaminated with dioxin-related compounds resulted in the development of Yusho oil disease in Japan. We aimed to determine whether the degree of exposure to dioxin-related compounds was associated with physical function in Yusho patients. Methods: In 2016, 65 men (average age: 65.7 years) and 77 women (average age: 64.7 years) participated in a nationwide health examination in Fukuoka prefecture. Functional reach, gait speed, hand grip strength, and toe grip strength were evaluated as part of physical function. The serum levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and non-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls were measured using high-resolution gas chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry. We examined the association between physical function tests and serum toxic equivalency (TEQ) values. Results: A 10-fold increase in serum TEQ levels was negatively associated with functional reach (adjusted b = -4.07, p = 0.017) and hand grip strength (adjusted b = -2.20, p = 0.0245) in men. No association was observed between serum TEQ level and physical function in women. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that dioxin-related compounds have a negative influence on physical function in men. However, these findings should be interpreted carefully. Future studies examining additional data on musculoskeletal disorders are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02702
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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