Children's Health Advance Publication
Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1510065
Relation between in Utero Arsenic Exposure and Birth Outcomes in a Cohort of Mothers and Their Newborns from New Hampshire
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Background: Studies suggest that arsenic exposure influences birth outcomes, however findings are mixed.
Objective: We assessed in utero arsenic exposure in relation to birth outcomes and whether maternal pre-pregnancy weight and infant sex modified associations.
Methods: Among 706 mother-infant pairs exposed to low levels of arsenic through drinking water and diet, we assessed in utero arsenic exposure using maternal second trimester urinary arsenic, maternal pre-pregnancy weight through self-report, and birth outcomes from medical records.
Results: Median (IQ range) of total urinary arsenic (tAs; inorganic arsenic (iAs) + monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) + dimethylarsinic acid (DMA)) was 3.4 µg/L (1.7 – 6.0). In adjusted linear models, each doubling of tAs was associated with a 0.10 cm decrease (95% CI: -0.19, -0.01) in head circumference. Results were similar for MMA and DMA. Ln(tAs) and Ln (DMA) were positively associated with birth length in infant males only; among males, each doubling of tAs was associated with a 0.28 cm increase (95% CI: 0.09, 0.46) birth length (Pinteraction = 0.04). Results were similar for DMA. Additionally, arsenic exposure was inversely related to Ponderal Index and associations differed by maternal weight. Each Ln(tAs) doubling of tAs was associated with a 0.55 kg/m3 lower (95% CI: -0.82, -0.28, P<0.001) Ponderal Index for infants of overweight/obese, but not normal weight, mothers, (Pinteraction <0.01). Finally, there was a significant interaction between maternal weight status, infant sex, and arsenic exposure on birth weight (Pinteraction = 0.03). In girls born of overweight/obese mothers, each doubling of tAs was associated with a 62.9 g decrease (95% CI: -111.6, -14.2) in birth weight, though the association was null in the other strata.
Conclusions: Low-level arsenic exposure may impact fetal growth, and the associations may be modified by maternal weight status and infant sex.
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Citation: Gilbert-Diamond D, Emond JA, Baker ER, Korrick SA, Karagas MR. Relation between in Utero Arsenic Exposure and Birth Outcomes in a Cohort of Mothers and Their Newborns from New Hampshire. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510065
Received: 10 April 2015
Accepted: 12 February 2016
Advance Publication: 8 March 2016
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