Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) 01/2014; 25(1):153-5.
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ABSTRACT: For heavy metals that have any degree of transfer though the placenta to the fetus, it is unlikely that there are safe limits for maternal blood levels.
The only means of reducing fetal exposure is to minimise maternal exposure. There are few recommendations for levels of concern. With the
exception of US recommendations for maternal Pb levels, but there are no international levels of concern or cut-off levels speciﬁcally for pregnancy
for heavy metals, so that comparisons can generally only be made with national reference values relating to similar physiological statuses or age
groups. These include recommendations for Cd levels by Germany (reference value for non-smoking adults aged 18–69 years, 1 µg/l) and for Hg
by Germany (reference value for adults age 18–60 years with ﬁsh intake ⩽3 times per month, 2.0 µg/l) and the USA (cut-off level for women,
5.8 µg/dl). To illustrate the lack of cohesion, we present data on blood Pb, Cd and Hg levels from pregnant women enroled in the UK Avon
Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children study and compare the values with present levels of concern and recommended cut-off values. We also
compare the levels with those found in other groups of pregnant women worldwide to strengthen the database for the development of levels of
concern in pregnancy. The need for clarity of terminology in describing levels of concern is discussed. There is a pressing need for international
consensus on levels of concern for all age groups and physiological statuses, particularly for pregnancy.
Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 11/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Oral Communication
Topic: Trace Elements In The Environment
EFFECTS OF MATERNAL LEAD LEVELS ON PREGNANCY OUTCOMES: THE ALSPAC STUDY
CM Taylor*, J Golding, AM Emond
Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, UK
*Corresponding author: email@example.com
Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove, Bristol BS8 2BN, UK
Background/aims: The results of previous studies on the associations of prenatal blood lead levels (BLL) with pregnancy outcomes such as birthweight and pre-term delivery have been inconsistent. Our aim was to study these associations in a large cohort of mother–child pairs in the UK.
Methods: Pregnant women resident in the Avon area of the UK were enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Whole blood samples were collected and analysed by inductively coupled plasma dynamic reaction cell mass spectrometry (n=4285). Self-completion postal questionnaires were used to collect data on lifestyle, diet and environmental factors during pregnancy. Data collected on the infants included anthropometric variables and gestational age at delivery. Statistical analysis was carried out with SPSS v18. Regression models were adjusted for covariates including maternal height, smoking, parity and sex of the baby.
Results: The mean BLL was 3.67±1.47 (median 3.41, range 0.41–19.14) µg/dl. BLL were significantly higher in women delivering low-birthweight babies (<2500 g; 3.89±2.55 vs 3.65±1.46 µg/dl, p=0.024), but not preterm babies (<37 weeks; 3.85±1.66 vs 3.66±1.45 µg/dl, p=0.053). Increasing BLL was significantly associated with reductions in birthweight, head circumference and crown–heel length (p=0.013, p=0.028 and p=0.026, respectively). BLL ≥5 µg/ml significantly increased the risk of preterm delivery (OR 1.761, 95% CI 1.128–2.751; p=0.013) or having a low-birthweight baby (OR 1.653, 95% CI 1.013–2.969; p=0.044).
Conclusion: There was an adverse effect of BLL on pregnancy outcomes in this group of women, with reductions in birthweight, head circumference and crown–heel length, and an increased risk of preterm delivery and low birthweight, in adjusted regression models. This could have important long-term effects on the physical and neurological development of the child.
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15th International FESTEM Trace Element Conference; 05/2013