Article

Association of Childhood Obesity With Maternal Exposure to Ambient Air Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons During Pregnancy

Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.
American journal of epidemiology (Impact Factor: 4.98). 04/2012; 175(11):1163-72. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwr455
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There are concerns that prenatal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals increases children’s risk of obesity. African-American
and Hispanic children born in the Bronx or Northern Manhattan, New York (1998–2006), whose mothers underwent personal air
monitoring for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure during pregnancy, were followed up to ages 5 (n = 422) and 7 (n = 341) years. At age 5 years, 21% of the children were obese, as were 25% of those followed to age 7 years. After adjustment
for child’s sex, age at measurement, ethnicity, and birth weight and maternal receipt of public assistance and prepregnancy
obesity, higher prenatal PAH exposures were significantly associated with higher childhood body size. In adjusted analyses,
compared with children of mothers in the lowest tertile of PAH exposure, children of mothers in the highest exposure tertile
had a 0.39-unit higher body mass index z score (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.08, 0.70) and a relative risk of 1.79 (95% CI: 1.09, 2.96) for obesity at age 5 years,
and they had a 0.30-unit higher body mass index z score (95% CI: 0.01, 0.59), a 1.93-unit higher percentage of body fat (95% CI: 0.33, 3.54), and a relative risk of 2.26 (95%
CI: 1.28, 4.00) for obesity at age 7 years. The data indicate that prenatal exposure to PAHs is associated with obesity in
childhood.

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