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2016 Conference

Abstract Number: E-05 | ID: 4035

Infant Infections and Inflammatory Markers in Relation to in utero Arsenic Exposure in a U.S. Pregnancy Cohort

Shohreh Farzan*, University of Southern California, United States, sffarzan@usc.edu; Diane Gilbert-Diamond, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, United States, diane.gilbert-diamond@dartmouth.edu; Yu Chen, New York University, United States, Yu.Chen@nyumc.org; Thomas Palys, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, United States, Thomas.J.Palys@dartmouth.edu; Margaret Karagas, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, United States, margaret.karagas@dartmouth.edu;
Introduction: Accumulating evidence indicates that arsenic (As), a potent environmental toxicant, may adversely affect infection susceptibility and immune function at high levels of exposure. However, the effects of As at lower exposure levels are uncertain. As part of the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study, we recently reported that As exposure during pregnancy was related to increases in the total number of infant infections requiring prescription medication in the first year of life (RR: 1.1, 95% CI 1.0, 1.2). Building upon this work, we investigated whether As exposure during pregnancy may impact plasma biomarkers of inflammation in pregnant women and newborns.
Methods: We examined maternal urinary As levels at gestational week 24-28 and levels of inflammatory biomarkers in 496 paired maternal plasma and cord blood samples. We assessed a multiplexed panel of circulating markers by Luminex, including immune-related markers TNF-a and IL-8, as well as cardiometabolic markers ICAM1, VCAM1, leptin, insulin, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1).
Results: We observed that compared with the bottom tertile, the highest tertile of maternal urinary As during pregnancy was positively related to cord blood levels (all in ng/mL) of ICAM1 (β: 156.9, 95% CI 10.9, 302.9; p= 0.04) and VCAM1 (β: 583.8; 95% CI -44.4, 1212.0; p= 0.07). Among mothers, the highest tertile of maternal urinary As during pregnancy was positively related to maternal plasma levels of VCAM1 (β: 135.3; 95% CI 18.6, 252.0 p= 0.02) and MCP1 (β: 0.02; 95% CI -0.002, 0.03; p= 0.08).
Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is among the first studies to evaluate these markers in relation to As exposure in newborns and pregnant women. Although we did not observe associations between As and potential immune-related inflammatory markers, we did observe associations that suggest As exposure may affect vascular and endothelial function in both mothers and children, which could impact long-term cardiometabolic health.