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Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and newborn biometric indicators

DOI: 10.2478/v10001-010-0028-1

Keywords: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Birth weight, Child length, Head and chest circumference, Cephalisation index

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Abstract:

Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine the impact of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) on foetal growth. Materials and Methods: The prospective Polish Mother and Child Cohort study was performed in 8 regions of Poland. The study population consisted of 449 mother-child pairs All women were interviewed three times during pregnancy (once in each trimester). 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HP) concentration in urine was chosen as the biomarker of exposure to PAH. The urine sample collected from the participant women between 20-24 weeks of pregnancy was analysed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The active and passive smoking exposure was verified by determination of saliva cotinine level using high performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry/positive electrospray ionisation (LC-ESI+MS/MS) and isotope dilution method. Results: The exposure to PAH measured by 1-HP level in urine of pregnant women was significantly associated with child birth weight (β = -158.3; p = 0.01), chest circumference (β = -0.7; p = 0.02) and cephalisation index (β = 4.2; p = 0.01) after adjustment for gestational age, child gender, pregnant woman marital status, educational level, season of last menstruation period (LMP), prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), and weight gain in pregnancy. After inclusion salivary cotinine levels into the analysis, the results were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Prenatal exposures to PAH adversely influence foetal development including child weight, length, head and chest circumference. Tobacco smoking is the important source of PAH. After controlling for active and passive smoking, the observed associations were not statistically significant.

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