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Table 1 Demographic characteristics, product use, and phthalate metabolite concentrations by race/ethnicity among US reproductive-aged women, NHANES 2001–2004 (N = 739)

From: Vaginal douching and racial/ethnic disparities in phthalates exposures among reproductive-aged women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001–2004

  White (N = 396) Black (N = 163) Mexican American (N = 180) p-valuea
Age (years), %     
20-29 29 34 42 0.05
30-39 33 32 32  
40-49 38 34 26  
BMI (kg/m2), %b     <0.001
<25 44 24 26  
25 – 30 27 25 33  
≥30 29 52 41  
Educational attainment, %     <0.001
< HS graduate 9 25 47  
HS graduate 22 24 21  
> HS graduate 69 52 31  
Feminine hygiene product use in past monthc, %
Tampon 55 31 22 <0.001
Sanitary Napkin 59 66 63 0.13
Vaginal Douche 14 37 10 <0.001
Feminine Spray 3 16 2 <0.001
Feminine Powder 2 12 2 <0.001
Wipes/Towelettes 7 16 13 0.004
Other Products 3 11 5 0.03
Average douching frequency in past 6 months, % <0.001
None 83 47 86  
Occasional (≤1 / month) 11 33 11  
Frequent (≥2/month) 7 20 3  
Phthalate metabolite concentration (GM (GSE))d
Mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP; ng/mL) 127 (10.7) 268 (26.5) 247 (26.1) <0.001
Mono-butyl phthalate (MnBP; ng/mL) 18.2 (1.0) 32.3 (2.0) 23.7 (2.3) <0.001
  1. aGroup differences evaluated by ANOVA for natural log transformed phthalate metabolite concentrations and chi square test for categorical variables
  2. bData missing for BMI (n =8)
  3. cSome participants used multiple products
  4. dGM, Geometric mean; GSE, Geometric standard error