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Publication Detail

Title: Placental metal concentrations in relation to placental growth, efficiency and birth weight.

Authors: Punshon, Tracy; Li, Zhigang; Jackson, Brian P; Parks, W Tony; Romano, Megan; Conway, David; Baker, Emily R; Karagas, Margaret R

Published In Environ Int, (2019 05)

Abstract: The quality of the intrauterine environment, in which the placenta plays a critical role, affects birth outcomes and lifelong health. The effect of metal contaminants on the growth and functioning of the placenta have not been widely reported but may provide insights into how metal exposures lead to these outcomes. We examined relationships between placental concentrations of cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) and measures of placental growth and functioning (placental weight, placental efficiency (the log ratio of placental weight and birth weight), chorionic disc area and disc eccentricity) as part of the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study (N = 1159). We additionally examined whether these associations were modified by placental concentrations of essential elements zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se). Associations were evaluated using generalized linear models. Multivariable-adjusted differences in placental weight were - 7.81 g (95% CI: -15.42, -2.48) with every ng/g increase in the Cd concentration of placenta (p-Value = 0.0009). Greater decrements in placental weight and efficiency associated with placental Cd were observed for females. For placentae with below median Zn and Se concentrations, decrements in placental weight were - 8.81 g (95% CI: -16.85, -0.76) and - 13.20 g (95% CI: -20.70, -5.70) respectively. The Cd concentration of placenta was also associated with reductions in placental efficiency both overall, and in Zn- and Se-stratified models. No appreciable differences were observed with other elements (As, Hg or Pb) and with other placental measures (chorionic disc area and disc eccentricity). In structural equation models, placental weight was a mediator in the relation between placental Cd concentration and reduced birth weight. Our findings suggest a role of interacting essential and contaminant elements on birth weight that may be mediated by changes in the growth and function of the placenta.

PubMed ID: 30851484 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adult; Arsenic/analysis*; Birth Weight; Cohort Studies; Environmental Monitoring; Environmental Pollutants/analysis*; Female; Humans; Infant, Newborn; Maternal Exposure; Maternal-Fetal Exchange; Metals/analysis*; Placenta/chemistry*; Placentation*; Pregnancy; Young Adult

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