Children's Health Advance Publication
Prenatal and Postnatal Serum PCB Concentrations and Cochlear Function in Children at 45 Months of Age
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Citation: Jusko TA, Sisto R, Iosif AM, Moleti A, Wimmerová S, Lancz K, Tihányi J, Šovčíková E, Drobná B, Palkovičová L, Jurečková D, Thevenet-Morrison K, Verner MA, Sonneborn D, Hertz-Picciotto I, Trnovec T. Prenatal and Postnatal Serum PCB Concentrations and Cochlear Function in Children at 45 Months of Age. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307473.
Received: 6 August 2013
Accepted: 21 July 2014
Advance Publication: 22 July 2014
PDF Version (858 KB)
Background: Some experimental and human data suggest that exposure to PCBs may induce ototoxicity, though results of previous epidemiologic studies are mixed, and generally focus on either prenatal or postnatal PCB concentrations exclusively.
Objectives: Our aim was to evaluate the association between pre- and postnatal PCB concentrations in relation to cochlear status assessed by distortion product otoacoustic emissions, and to further clarify the critical periods in development where cochlear status may be most susceptible to PCBs.
Methods: A total of 351 children from a birth cohort in eastern Slovakia underwent otoacoustic testing at age 45 months. Maternal pregnancy, cord, and child 6-, 16-, and 45-month blood samples were collected and analyzed for PCB concentrations. At 45 months of age, distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) were assessed at 11 frequencies in both ears. Multivariate, generalized linear models were used to estimate the associations between PCB concentrations at different ages and DPOAEs, adjusting for potential confounders.
Results: Maternal and cord PCB-153 concentrations were not associated with DPOAEs at 45 months. Higher postnatal PCB concentrations at 6-, 16-, and 45-months of age were associated with lower (poorer) DPOAE amplitudes. When all postnatal PCB exposures were considered as an area under the curve metric, an increase in PCB-153 concentration from the 25th to the 75th percentile was associated with a 1.6 db SPL decrease in DPOAE amplitude (95% CI = -2.6, -0.5; p = 0.003).
Conclusions: In this study, postnatal, rather than maternal or cord PCB concentrations were associated with poorer performance on otoacoustic tests at age 45 months.
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CEHN September 2014 Article of the Month“Prenatal Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Exposures and Neurodevelopment in U.S. Children through 5 Years of Age: The HOME Study” (Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307562) has been selected by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) as its September 2014 Article of the Month. These CEHN summaries discuss the potential policy implications of current children’s environmental health research.
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