[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Selenium is an essential element, but its metabolism in humans is not well characterized. A few small studies indicate that the trimethylselenonium ion (TMSe) is a common selenium metabolite in humans.
This study aimed to elucidate the human metabolism of selenium to TMSe.
Study individuals constituted subsamples of 2 cohorts: 1) pregnant women (n = 228) and their 5-y-old children (n = 205) in rural Bangladesh with poor selenium status [median urinary selenium (U-Se): 6.4 μg/L in mothers, 14 μg/L in children] and 2) women in the Argentinian Andes (n = 83) with adequate selenium status (median U-Se: 24 μg/L). Total U-Se and blood selenium were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS), and urinary concentrations of TMSe were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography/vapor generation/ICPMS. A genomewide association study (GWAS) was performed for 1,629,299 (after filtration) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Bangladeshi women (n = 72) by using Illumina Omni5M, and results were validated by using real-time polymerase chain reaction.
TMSe "producers" were prevalent (approximately one-third) among the Bangladeshi women and their children, in whom TMSe constituted ∼10-70% of U-Se, whereas "nonproducers" had, on average, 0.59% TMSe. The TMSe-producing women had, on average, 2-μg U-Se/L higher concentrations than did the nonproducers. In contrast, only 3 of the 83 Andean women were TMSe producers (6-15% TMSe in the urine); the average percentage among the nonproducers was 0.35%. Comparison of the percentage of urinary TMSe in mothers and children indicated a strong genetic influence. The GWAS identified 3 SNPs in the indolethylamine N-methyltransferase gene (INMT) that were strongly associated with percentage of TMSe (P < 0.001, false-discovery rate corrected) in both cohorts.
There are remarkable population and individual variations in the formation of TMSe, which could largely be explained by SNPs in INMT. The TMSe-producing women had higher U-Se concentrations than did nonproducers, but further elucidation of the metabolic pathways of selenium is essential for the understanding of its role in human health. The MINIMat trial was registered at isrctn.org as ISRCTN16581394.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this prospective cohort study, based on 1,505 mother-infant pairs in rural Bangladesh, we evaluated the associations between early-life exposure to arsenic, cadmium, and lead, assessed via concentrations in maternal and child urine, and children's weights and heights up to age 5 years, during the period 2001-2009. Concurrent and prenatal exposures were evaluated using linear regression analysis, while longitudinal exposure was assessed using mixed-effects linear regression. An inverse association was found between children's weight and height, age-adjusted z scores, and growth velocity at age 5 years and concurrent exposure to cadmium and arsenic. In the longitudinal analysis, multivariable-adjusted attributable differences in children's weight at age 5 years were -0.33 kg (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.60, -0.06) for high (≥95th percentile) arsenic exposure and -0.57 kg (95% CI: -0.88, -0.26) for high cadmium exposure, in comparison with children with the lowest exposure (≤5th percentile). Multivariable-adjusted attributable differences in height were -0.50 cm (95% CI: -1.20, 0.21) for high arsenic exposure and -1.6 cm (95% CI: -2.4, -0.77) for high cadmium exposure. The associations were apparent primarily among girls. The negative effects on children's growth at age 5 years attributable to arsenic and cadmium were of similar magnitude to the difference between girls and boys in terms of weight (-0.67 kg, 95% CI: -0.82, -0.53) and height (-1.3 cm, 95% CI: -1.7, -0.89).
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · American journal of epidemiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transfer of lithium and boron from exposed mothers to fetuses and breast-fed infants was investigated in areas in northern Argentina and Chile with up to 700μglithium/L and 5-10mgboron/L in drinking water. Maternal and cord blood concentrations were strongly correlated and similar in size for both lithium (47 and 70μg/L, respectively) and boron (220 and 145μg/L, respectively). The first infant urine produced after birth contained the highest concentrations (up to 1700μg lithium/L and 14,000μg boron/L). Breast-milk contained 40 and 60% of maternal blood concentrations of lithium and boron, respectively (i.e. about 30 and 250μg/L, respectively, in high exposure areas), and infant urine concentrations decreased immediately after birth (120μg lithium/L and 920μg boron/L). We conclude that lithium and boron easily passed the placenta to the fetus, and that exclusively breast-fed infants seemed to have lower exposure than formula-fed infants.
No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Reproductive Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prenatal exposures to arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) have been associated with decreased size at birth. We here studied associations of prenatal As and Cd exposures with multiple fetal size parameters measured by ultrasound in gestational week (GW) 14 and 30 in a population-based mother-child cohort in rural Bangladesh. We measured As (n=1929) and Cd (n=1616) in urine during pregnancy. In the longitudinal evaluation of combined exposure, urinary Cd (UCd) showed an inverted U-shaped association (turning-point 1.5μg Cd/L) with all fetal size parameters, while UAs showed no significant association. Cross-sectional analyses indicated that associations with UCd were somewhat stronger in early gestation. Stratification indicated stronger associations between UCd and fetal size in girls than in boys, and in poorer than in richer families, while UAs was weakly associated with fetal size in boys. In conclusion, particularly Cd, but also As, appeared to influence fetal development in a sex-dependent manner.
No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Reproductive Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to arsenic through drinking water has been associated with impaired cognitive function in school-aged children in a few cross-sectional studies; however, there is little information on critical windows of exposure.
We conducted a population-based longitudinal study in rural Bangladesh. We assessed the association of arsenic exposure, based on urinary arsenic (U-As; twice during pregnancy and twice in childhood), with the development of about 1700 children at 5 years of age using Wechsler Pre-school and Primary Scale of Intelligence [intelligence quotient (IQ)].
Median maternal U-As in pregnancy was 80 µg/l (10-90 percentiles: 25-400 µg/l). Children's urine contained 35 (12-155) µg/l and 51 (20-238) µg/l at 1.5 and 5 years, respectively. Using multivariable-adjusted regression analyses, controlling for all potential confounders and loss to follow-up, we found that verbal IQ (VIQ) and full scale IQ (FSIQ) were negatively associated with (log) U-As in girls. The associations were consistent, but somewhat stronger with concurrent arsenic exposure [VIQ: B = -2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -3.8 to -1.1; FSIQ: B = -1.4, 95% CI = -2.7 to -0.1, n = 817), compared with that at 1.5 years (VIQ: B = -0.85, 95% CI = -2.1 to 0.4; FSIQ: B = -0.74, 95% CI = -1.9 to 0.4, n = 902), late gestation (VIQ: B = -1.52, 95% CI = -2.6 to -0.4; FSIQ: B = -1.35, 95% CI = -2.4 to -0.3, n = 874) and early gestation (VIQ: B = -1.23, 95% CI = -2.4 to -0.06; FSIQ: B = -0.92, 95% CI = -2.0 to -0.2, n = 833). In boys, U-As showed consistently low and non-significant associations with all IQ measures. An effect size calculation indicated that 100 µg/l U-As was associated with a decrement of 1-3 points in both VIQ and FSIQ in girls.
We found adverse effects of arsenic exposure on IQ in girls, but not boys, at 5 years of age.
Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · International Journal of Epidemiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated arsenic levels in tube-well water in Bangladesh have prompted extensive mitigation projects. We evaluated the effectiveness of long-term mitigation efforts by longitudinally measuring arsenic exposure in pregnant women and their children, the most susceptible population groups.
The study was nested in a population-based nutrition intervention in Matlab, Bangladesh. Mother-child pairs (n = 1951) were followed from 2001 to 2003, beginning in early gestation and continuing to 5 years postpartum. We measured arsenic concentrations in urine (U-As) of the 5-year-old children by using high-performance liquid chromatography online with hydride generation and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and compared them with earlier childhood U-As and maternal U-As during pregnancy.
Children had elevated U-As at 5 years old (median = 51 μg/L, 5th-95th percentiles = 16-355 μg/L), and U-As distribution was similar to that observed in the mothers during gestation. Children's U-As at 5 years old significantly correlated with their U-As at 1.5 years old and to maternal U-As during early and late gestation.
Despite major mitigation efforts, arsenic exposure remains highly elevated in rural Bangladesh. Further mitigation strategies are required and must be rigorously evaluated for long-term efficacy.
Preview · Article · Jul 2011 · American Journal of Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arsenic (As) occurs as monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) in humans, and the methylation pattern demonstrates large interindividual differences. The fraction of urinary MMA is a marker for susceptibility to As-related diseases.
We evaluated the impact of polymorphisms in five methyltransferase genes on As metabolism in two populations, one in South America and one in Southeast Asia. The methyltransferase genes were arsenic(+III oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT), DNA-methyltransferase 1a and 3b (DNMT1a and DNMT3b, respectively), phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT), and betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT). AS3MT expression was analyzed in peripheral blood.
Subjects were women exposed to As in drinking water in the Argentinean Andes [n = 172; median total urinary As (U-As), 200 µg/L] and in rural Bangladesh (n = 361; U-As, 100 µg/L; all in early pregnancy). Urinary As metabolites were measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Polymorphisms (n = 22) were genotyped with Sequenom, and AS3MT expression was measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction using TaqMan expression assays.
Six AS3MT polymorphisms were significantly associated with As metabolite patterns in both populations (p ≤ 0.01). The most frequent AS3MT haplotype in Bangladesh was associated with a higher percentage of MMA (%MMA), and the most frequent haplotype in Argentina was associated with a lower %MMA and a higher percentage of DMA. Four polymorphisms in the DNMT genes were associated with metabolite patterns in Bangladesh. Noncoding AS3MT polymorphisms affected gene expression of AS3MT in peripheral blood, demonstrating that one functional impact of AS3MT polymorphisms may be altered levels of gene expression.
Polymorphisms in AS3MT significantly predicted As metabolism across these two very different populations, suggesting that AS3MT may have an impact on As metabolite patterns in populations worldwide.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Environmental Health Perspectives
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Millions of people worldwide are drinking water with elevated arsenic concentrations. Epidemiologic studies, mainly cross-sectional in design, have suggested that arsenic in drinking water may affect pregnancy outcome and infant health. We assessed the association of arsenic exposure with adverse pregnancy outcomes and infant mortality in a prospective cohort study of pregnant women.
A population-based, prospective cohort study of 2924 pregnant women was carried out during 2002-2004 in Matlab, Bangladesh. Spontaneous abortion was evaluated in relation to urinary arsenic concentrations at gestational week 8. Stillbirth and infant mortality were evaluated in relation to the average of urinary arsenic concentrations measured at gestational weeks 8 and 30.
: The odds ratio of spontaneous abortion was 1.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.96-2.2) among women with urine arsenic concentrations in the fifth quintile (249-1253 μg/L; median = 382 μg/L), compared with women in the first quintile (<33 μg/L). There was no clear evidence of increased rates of stillbirth. The rate of infant mortality increased with increasing arsenic exposure: the hazard ratio was 5.0 (95% CI = 1.4-18) in the fifth quintile of maternal urinary arsenic concentrations (268-2019 μg/L; median = 390 μg/L), compared with the first quintile (<38 μg/L).
We found evidence of increased risk of infant mortality with increasing arsenic exposure during pregnancy, with less evidence of associations with spontaneous abortion or stillbirth risk.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to inorganic arsenic during pregnancy may negatively influence the offspring, though efficient metabolism of arsenic to dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) likely reduces the health risks. This study aimed to evaluate methylation of arsenic over the entire pregnancy and the influence of nutritional status. We studied longitudinally the arsenic metabolite pattern in the urine of 324 pregnant women exposed to arsenic via drinking water and food in rural Bangladesh. Metabolism of arsenic to DMA increased markedly over the course of pregnancy, with the greatest improvement occurring in the first trimester, along with a marked decrease in the most risk-associated monomethylated metabolite. This improvement in methylation was not associated with nutritional status, including vitamin B(12) and folate. Efficient methylation to DMA was associated with improved urinary excretion of arsenic, relative to blood arsenic concentrations, indicating that micronutrient-independent up-regulation of arsenic metabolism already in early pregnancy may provide protection for the fetus.
No preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Reproductive Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to arsenic through drinking water has been associated with impaired cognitive function in school-aged children in cross-sectional studies; however, there are few longitudinal studies and little information on effects of exposure in early life when the brain is generally most vulnerable.
A longitudinal cohort study beginning in early pregnancy was conducted in rural Bangladesh, where arsenic concentrations in well water vary considerably. We assessed the effects of pre- and postnatal arsenic exposure on development of 2112 children at 18 months of age with Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II (mental and psychomotor development indices), Wolke's Behavior Rating Scale and maternal report of language. We related the measures of child development to arsenic concentrations in maternal urine in gestational weeks 9 and 30 and child's urinary arsenic at 18 months of age. Details of socio-economic background, home stimulation and anthropometric measurements of mothers and children were also available.
Median maternal urinary arsenic concentration averaged over early and late gestation was 96 µg/l, whereas children's urine contained 35 µg/l of arsenic. There was no significant effect of any of the arsenic exposure measures on any of the child development measures after controlling for social and economic confounders, child's age and sex.
Contrary to expectations, we found no indications of adverse effects of pre- or postnatal arsenic exposure on child development at 18 months. It remains possible that duration of exposure is critical and that effects will become apparent later in childhood.
Preview · Article · Oct 2010 · International Journal of Epidemiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic cadmium exposure is associated with many adverse health effects in adults, but little is known about the scenario early in life. This study assessed cadmium exposure and body burden in young children, born to women with known cadmium exposure via rice. As part of our ongoing population-based, longitudinal study of health effects of early-life toxicants exposure in rural Bangladesh, we measured cadmium in urine of about 350 children at 1.5 and 5 years of age, and in 92 children at 3 months of age. Median cadmium concentrations in urine were 0.30, 0.16 and 0.30 microg/L at 3 months, 1.5 and 5 years of age, respectively (0.6 microg/L in mothers). Cadmium concentrations in infant's urine correlated with concentrations in maternal breast milk, saliva, and urine. As expected, concentrations in urine increased from 1.5 to 5 years of age. Rice (median 47 microgCd/kg) is most likely the main source of exposure. In conclusion, we found unexpectedly high cadmium exposure among children in rural Bangladesh. Urinary cadmium concentrations were particularly elevated at 3 months of age, indicating limited reabsorption and accumulation of cadmium in the kidneys, known to be the main site of cadmium burden in older children and adults.
No preview · Article · May 2010 · Toxicology Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) may generate oxidative stress, which can be assessed by 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in urine, a sensitive marker of oxidatively damaged DNA. We have evaluated oxidative stress induced by chronic mixed exposure to As, Cd, and Pb, as well as the influence of As metabolism and nutritional status, i.e., levels of ferritin (Ft), selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), and manganese (Mn) and body weight. 8-OxodG was measured in urine from 212 women in early pregnancy from Matlab, in rural Bangladesh, using LC-MS/MS. Cd and Pb were analyzed in urine and erythrocytes, and Se, Mn, and Zn were analyzed in erythrocytes, all by ICPMS. As and As metabolites were analyzed in urine by HPLC-ICPMS. Ferritin was analyzed in plasma by radioimmunoassay. The median concentration of 8-oxodG was 8.3 nmol/L (adjusted for specific gravity), range 1.2-43, corresponding to a median of 4.7 microg/g creatinine, range 1.8-32. 8-OxodG was positively associated with urinary Cd (beta=0.32, p< 0.001), urinary As (beta=0.0007, p=0.001), the fraction of the monomethylated arsenic metabolite in urine (beta=0.0026, p=0.004), and plasma Ft (beta=0.20, p< 0.001). A joint effect was seen for urinary Cd and As, but whether this effect was additive or multiplicative was difficult to discern.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arsenic (As) causes oxidative stress through generation of reactive oxygen species. 8-Oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), a sensitive marker of oxidative DNA damage, has been associated with As exposure in some studies, but not in others, possibly due to population-specific genetic factors.
To evaluate the association between As and 8-oxodG in urine in a population with a low urinary monomethylated As (%MMA) and high dimethylated As (%DMA), as well as the genetic impact on (a) 8-oxodG concentrations and (b) the association between As and 8-oxodG.
Women (N=108) in the Argentinean Andes were interviewed and urine was analyzed for arsenic metabolites (ICPMS) and 8-oxodG (LC-MS/MS). Twenty-seven polymorphisms in genes related to oxidative stress and one in As(+III)methyltransferase (AS3MT) were studied.
Median concentration of 8-oxodG was 4.7 nmol/L (adjusted for specific weight; range 1.6-13, corresponding to 1.7 microg/g creatinine, range 0.57-4.8) and of total urinary As metabolites (U-As) 290 microg/L (range 94-720; 380 microg/g creatinine, range 140-1100). Concentrations of 8-oxodG were positively associated with %MMA (strongest association, p=0.013), and weakly associated with U-As (positively) and %DMA (negatively). These associations were strengthened when taking ethnicity into account, possibly reflecting genetic differences in As metabolism and genes regulating oxidative stress and DNA maintenance. A genetic influence on 8-oxodG concentrations was seen for polymorphisms in apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APEX1), DNA-methyltransferases 1 and 3b (DNMT1, DNMT3B), thioredoxin reductase 1 (TXNRD1) and 2 (TXNRD2) and glutaredoxin (GLRX).
Despite high As exposure, the concentrations of 8-oxodG in this population were low compared with other As-exposed populations studied. The strongest association was found for %MMA, stressing that some inconsistencies between As and 8-oxodG partly depend on population variations in As metabolism. We found evidence of genetic impact on 8-oxodG concentrations.
No preview · Article · Nov 2009 · Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BackgroundMethylation of inorganic arsenic (iAs) via one-carbon metabolism is a susceptibility factor for a range of arsenic-related health effects, but there is no data on the importance of arsenic metabolism for effects on child development.AimTo elucidate the development of arsenic metabolism in early childhood.MethodsWe measured iAs, methylarsonic acid (MA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), the metabolites of iAs, in spot urine samples of 2400 children at 18 months of age. The children were born to women participating in a population-based longitudinal study of arsenic effects on pregnancy outcomes and child development, carried out in Matlab, a rural area in Bangladesh with a wide range of arsenic concentrations in drinking water. Arsenic metabolism was evaluated in relation to age, sex, anthropometry, socio-economic status and arsenic exposure.ResultsArsenic concentrations in child urine (median 34 μg/L, range 2.4–940 μg/L), adjusted to average specific gravity of 1.009 g/mL, were considerably higher than that measured at 3 months of age, but lower than that in maternal urine. Child urine contained on average 12% iAs, 9.4% MA and 78% DMA, which implies a marked change in metabolite pattern since infancy. In particular, there was a marked increase in urinary %MA, which has been associated with increased risk of health effects.ConclusionThe arsenic metabolite pattern in urine of children at 18 months of age in rural Bangladesh indicates a marked decrease in arsenic methylation efficiency during weaning.
No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental studies indicate that zinc (Zn) and calcium (Ca) status, in addition to iron (Fe) status, affect gastrointestinal absorption of cadmium (Cd), an environmental pollutant that is toxic to kidneys, bone and endocrine systems. The aim of this study was to evaluate how various nutritional factors influence the uptake of Cd in women, particularly during pregnancy. The study was carried out in a rural area of Bangladesh, where malnutrition is prevalent and exposure to Cd via food appears elevated. The uptake of Cd was evaluated by associations between erythrocyte Cd concentrations (Ery-Cd), a marker of ongoing Cd exposure, and concentrations of nutritional markers. Blood samples, collected in early pregnancy and 6 months postpartum, were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS). Ery-Cd varied considerably (range: 0.31-5.4microg/kg) with a median of 1.1microg/kg (approximately 0.5microg/L in whole blood) in early pregnancy. Ery-Cd was associated with erythrocyte manganese (Ery-Mn; positively), plasma ferritin (p-Ft; negatively), and erythrocyte Ca (Ery-Ca; negatively) in decreasing order, indicating common transporters for Cd, Fe and Mn. There was no evidence of Cd uptake via Zn transporters, but the association between Ery-Cd and p-Ft seemed to be dependent on adequate Zn status. On average, Ery-Cd increased significantly by 0.2microg/kg from early pregnancy to 6 months postpartum, apparently due to up-regulated divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1). In conclusion, intestinal uptake of Cd appears to be influenced either directly or indirectly by several micronutrients, in particular Fe, Mn and Zn. The negative association with Ca may suggest that Cd inhibits the transport of Ca to blood.
No preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Environmental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Manganese exposure and biomarker concentrations during early pregnancy and lactation were investigated in 408 women living in an area with elevated concentrations of both arsenic and manganese in drinking water derived from wells. About 40% of the water samples had manganese concentrations above the World Health Organization's guideline value and showed a strong inverse correlation with arsenic concentrations. Water manganese was found to correlate to urine concentrations, but not to blood or breast milk concentrations. No correlations were found among manganese concentrations in urine, blood, or breast milk. Compared to other populations, manganese concentrations in both urine and blood, but not breast milk, were elevated in the Bangladeshi women and more similar to those of occupationally exposed groups. The lack of associations with water manganese is likely due to variable exposure via water and food, and differences in bioavailability, as well as a complex and/or strict regulation of intestinal manganese absorption, in turn being influenced by nutritional as well as physiological and genetic factors. The results indicate that elevated maternal manganese exposure does not necessarily lead to exposure of breast-fed infants, stressing the importance of breast feeding in high manganese areas. However, the implications of fetal exposurefrom elevated maternal exposure need further investigation.
No preview · Article · May 2009 · Environmental Science and Technology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to arsenic-contaminated drinking water during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight and fetal loss, and there is concern that the infants' development may be affected.
We assessed the effects of in utero arsenic exposure during pregnancy on infants' problem-solving ability and motor development.
We conducted a large population-based study of nutritional supplementation with 4,436 pregnant women in Matlab, Bangladesh, an area of high-arsenic-contaminated tube wells. We measured arsenic concentration in spot urine specimens at 8 and 30 weeks of pregnancy. We assessed a subsample of 1,799 infants, born to these mothers, at 7 months of age on two problem-solving tests (PSTs), the motor scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II, and behavior ratings.
Arsenic concentrations in maternal urine were high, with a median (interquartile range) of 81 microg/L (37-207 microg/L) at 8 weeks of gestation and of 84 microg/L (42-230 microg/L) at 30 weeks. Arsenic exposure was related to many poor socioeconomic conditions that also correlated with child development measures. Multiple regressions of children's motor and PST scores and behavior ratings, controlling for socioeconomic background variables, age, and sex, showed no significant effect of urinary arsenic concentration on any developmental outcome.
We detected no significant effect of arsenic exposure during pregnancy on infant development. However, it is possible that other effects are as yet unmeasured or that effects will become apparent at a later age.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Environmental Health Perspectives
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic exposure to arsenic, a potent carcinogen and toxicant, via drinking water is a worldwide public health problem. Because little is known about early-life effects of arsenic on immunity, we evaluated the impact of in utero exposure on infant immune parameters and morbidity in a pilot study. Pregnant women were enrolled at 6-10 weeks of gestation in Matlab, a rural area of Bangladesh, extensively affected by arsenic contamination of tubewell water. Women (n=140) delivering at local clinics were included in the study. Anthropometry and morbidity data of the pregnant women and their children, as well as infant thymic size by sonography were collected. Maternal urine and breast milk were collected for immune marker and arsenic assessment. Maternal urinary arsenic during pregnancy showed significant negative correlation with interleukin-7 (IL-7) and lactoferrin (Ltf) in breast milk and child thymic index (TI). Urinary arsenic was also positively associated with fever and diarrhea during pregnancy and acute respiratory infections (ARI) in the infants. The effect of arsenic exposure on ARI was only evident in male children. The findings suggest that in utero arsenic exposure impaired child thymic development and enhanced morbidity, probably via immunosuppression. The effect seemed to be partially gender dependent. Arsenic exposure also affected breast milk content of trophic factors and maternal morbidity.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Toxicology Letters