Concern about possibly transgenerational health
effects of DES exposure are based on animal studies that demonstrated
an increased risk of reproductive tumors in elderly female and male
mice whose parent was exposed to DES in utero (240,241,242).
Animal studies have shown increased risk for reproductive tumors
in elderly mice whose mother was exposed to DES in utero. Female
third-generation mice were at increased risk of uterine adenocarcinoma,
uterine sarcoma, benign ovarian tumors, and lymphomas. Male third-generation
mice were at increased risk for tumors in the rete testis and other
reproductive tract issues.
Few studies have been conducted that focus on third-generation
effects in humans:
- To date only three studies have been published reporting on
the health of children born to DES Sons and Daughters (238,239,243).
- Two studies have reported on female offspring of DES Daughters
- One study reports that third-generation daughters did not have
genital tract abnormalities associated with in-utero DES exposure
- Another indicated that third-generation females did not have
an altered age at menarche based on their mothers' prenatal DES
- One study of DES third-generation males (sons of DES Daughters)
found a slightly increased risk of hypospadias (239).
Third-generation males and females are just beginning. Follow-up
studies will be needed to definitively confirm or rule out possible
For a complete list of the numbered citations
on this page see DES References.
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