Birth weight and prenatal exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) and Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and birth weight: a meta-analysis within 12 european birth cohorts

Publié le 1 Février 2012
Mis à jour le 09 Septembre 2019

Objectives: Exposure to high concentrations of persistent organochlorines may cause fetal toxicity, but the evidence at low exposure levels is limited. Large studies with substantial exposure contrasts and appropriate exposure assessment are warranted. Within the framework of the EU ENRIECO and EU OBELIX projects, we examined the hypothesis that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) adversely affects birth weight. Methods: We used maternal and cord blood and breast milk samples in 7,990 women enrolled in 15 study populations from 12 European birth cohorts from 1990-2008. Using identical variable definitions, we performed for each cohort linear regression of birth weight on estimates of cord serum concentration of PCB 153 and p,p'-DDE adjusted for gestational age and a priori selected covariates. We obtained summary estimates by meta-analysis and performed analyses of interactions. Results: The median concentration of cord serum PCB 153 was 140 ng/L (range of cohort medians 20-484) and that of p,p'-DDE was 528 ng/L (range of cohort medians 50-1208). Birth weight decreased with increasing cord serum concentration of PCB 153 after adjustment for potential confounders in 12 of 15 study populations. The meta-analysis including all cohorts indicated a birth weight decline of 150 g (95% CI -250, -50) per 1-"g/L increase in PCB 153, an exposure contrast that is close to the range of exposuress across the cohorts. A 1-"g/L increase in p,p'-DDE was associated with a 7 g decrease in birth weight (95% CI -18, 4 g). Conclusions: The findings suggest that low-level exposure to PCB (or correlated exposures) impairs fetal growth, while p,p'-DDE exposure does not. The study adds to mounting evidence that low-level exposure to PCBs is inversely associated with fetal growth. (R.A.)

Auteur : Govarts E, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Schoeters G, Ballester F, Bloemen K, de Boer M, Chevrier C, Eggesbo M, Guxens M, Kramer U, Legler J, Martinez D, Palkovicova L, Patelarou E, Ranft U, Rautio A, Petersen MS, Slama R, Stigum H, Toft G, Trnovec T, Vandentorren S, Weihe P, Kuperus NW, Wilhelm M, Wittsiepe J, Bonde JP
Environmental health perspectives, 2012, vol. 120, n°. 2, p. 162-70