Birth Weight, Head Circumference, and Prenatal Exposure to Acrylamide from Maternal Diet: The European Prospective Mother–Child Study (NewGeneris)
Marie Pedersen,1,2,3,4* Hans von Stedingk,5* Maria Botsivali,6 Silvia Agramunt,1,2 Jan Alexander,7 Gunnar Brunborg,8 Leda Chatzi,9 Sarah Fleming,10 Eleni Fthenou,9 Berit Granum,11 Kristine B. Gutzkow,8 Laura J. Hardie,10 Lisbeth E. Knudsen,12 Soterios A. Kyrtopoulos,6 Michelle A. Mendez,1 Domenico F. Merlo,13 Jeanette K. Nielsen,12 Per Rydberg,5 Dan Segerbäck,14 Jordi Sunyer,1,2,3,15 John Wright,16 Margareta Törnqvist,5 Jos C. Kleinjans,17 Manolis Kogevinas,1,2,3,18 and the NewGeneris Consortium
1Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain; 2IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute), Barcelona, Spain; 3CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain; 4INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research), Team of Environmental Epidemiology Applied to Reproduction and Respiratory Health, Institute Albert Bonniot, Grenoble, France; 5Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry Unit, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; 6National Hellenic Research Foundation, Institute of Biological Research and Biotechnology, Athens, Greece; 7Department of Food Safety and Nutrition, and 8Department of Chemical Toxicology, Division of Environmental Medicine, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; 9Department of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece; 10Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom; 11Department of Environmental Immunology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; 12Section of Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; 13Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Clinical Trials, National Cancer Research Institute, Genoa, Italy; 14Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Novum, Huddinge, Sweden; 15Department of Health and Experimental Sciences, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain; 16Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford, United Kingdom; 17Department of Toxicogenomics, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands; 18National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece
Background: Acrylamide is a common dietary exposure that crosses the human placenta. It is classified as a probable human carcinogen, and developmental toxicity has been observed in rodents.
Objectives: We examined the associations between prenatal exposure to acrylamide and birth outcomes in a prospective European mother–child study.
Methods: Hemoglobin (Hb) adducts of acrylamide and its metabolite glycidamide were measured in cord blood (reflecting cumulated exposure in the last months of pregnancy) from 1,101 singleton pregnant women recruited in Denmark, England, Greece, Norway, and Spain during 2006–2010. Maternal diet was estimated through food-frequency questionnaires.
Results: Both acrylamide and glycidamide Hb adducts were associated with a statistically significant reduction in birth weight and head circumference. The estimated difference in birth weight for infants in the highest versus lowest quartile of acrylamide Hb adduct levels after adjusting for gestational age and country was –132 g (95% CI: –207, –56); the corresponding difference for head circumference was –0.33 cm (95% CI: –0.61, –0.06). Findings were similar in infants of nonsmokers, were consistent across countries, and remained after adjustment for factors associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal consumption of foods rich in acrylamide, such as fried potatoes, was associated with cord blood acrylamide adduct levels and with reduced birth weight.
Conclusions: Dietary exposure to acrylamide was associated with reduced birth weight and head circumference. Consumption of specific foods during pregnancy was associated with higher acrylamide exposure in utero. If confirmed, these findings suggest that dietary intake of acrylamide should be reduced among pregnant women.
Key words: biomarker, children, diet, intrauterine growth restriction, in utero exposure.
Environ Health Perspect 120:1739–1745 (2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205327 [Online 23 October 2012]
Address correspondence to M. Kogevinas, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), 88 Doctor Aiguader Rd., Barcelona 08003, Spain. Telephone: 34 93 214 7332. Fax: 34 93 214 7302. E-mail: address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplemental Material is available online (http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205327).
*These authors contributed equally.
We thank participants in the study and the doctors, nurses, midwives, and laboratory technicians who assisted with its conduct; and A. Espinosa, who helped with the statistical analysis.
The NewGeneris (Newborns and Genotoxic exposure risks) study was funded by the European Union (EU Contract FOOD-CT-2005-016320). The study was also supported by grants obtained locally, including the Swedish Cancer and Allergy Foundation and the Swedish Research Council Formas, the National Institute for Health Research, UK (programme grant RP-PG-0407-10044), the Norwegian Ministry of Health, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the Norwegian Research Council/FUGE (grant 151918/S10), the EU funded HiWATE (contract Food-CT-2006-036224), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (contract NO-ES-75558), and the U.S. NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grant 1 UO1 NS 047537-01). M.P. holds a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral fellowship awarded from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (JCI-2011-09479).
H.v.S., P.R., and M.T. are stakeholders in Adduct Analys AB, Stockholm, Sweden, the company that owns the patent for the analytical method used for the hemoglobin adduct measurements. The other authors and collaborators declare they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.
Received 11 April 2012; Accepted 24 September 2012; Online 23 October 2012.
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