Exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) during prenatal and postnatal life has been extensively studied in relation to adverse health effects in children.
The aim was to identify determinants of the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, PBDEs; polybrominated biphenyl, PBB), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in blood samples from pregnant women and children in The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).
Blood samples were collected from two independent subsamples within MoBa; a group of women (n=96) enrolled in mid-pregnancy during the years 2002-2008 and a group of 3 year old children (n=99) participating during 2010-2011. PCB congeners (74, 99, 138, 153, 180, 170, 194, 209, 105, 114, 118, 156, 157, 167, and 189), brominated flame retardants (PBDE-28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, and PBB-153), as well as the OCPs hexachlorobenzene (HCB), oxychlordane, 4,4'dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and 4,4'dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) were measured in both pregnant women and children.
Age, low parity, and low pre-pregnant BMI were the most important determinants of increased plasma concentrations of POPs in pregnant women. In 3 year old children, prolonged breastfeeding duration was a major determinant of increased POP concentrations. Estimated dietary exposure to PCBs during pregnancy was positively associated with plasma concentrations in 3 year old children, but not in pregnant women. Plasma concentrations were approximately 40% higher in children compared to pregnant women.
Several factors associated with exposure and toxicokinetics, i.e. accumulation, excretion and transfer via breastmilk of POPs were the main predictors of POP levels in pregnant women and children. Diet, which is the main exposure source for these compounds in the general population, was found to predict PCB levels only among children. For the PBDEs, for which non-dietary sources are more important, toxicokinetic factors appeared to have less predictive impact.
Current knowledge about the relationship between mild to moderately inadequate maternal iodine intake and/or supplemental iodine on child neurodevelopment is sparse. Using information from 77,164 mother-child pairs in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, this study explored associations between maternal iodine intake and child attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis, registered in the Norwegian Patient Registry and maternally-reported child ADHD symptoms at eight years of age. Pregnant women reported food and supplement intakes by questionnaire in gestational week 22. In total, 1725 children (2.2%) were diagnosed with ADHD. In non-users of supplemental iodine (53,360 mothers), we found no association between iodine intake from food and risk of child ADHD diagnosis (p = 0.89), while low iodine from food (
Inadequate stores or intakes of essential minerals in pregnancy, or too high exposure to both toxic and essential elements, can have adverse effects on mother and child. The main aims of this study were to 1) describe the concentrations and patterns of essential and toxic elements measured in maternal whole blood during pregnancy; 2) identify dietary, lifestyle and sociodemographic determinants of element status; and 3) explore the impact of iron deficiency on blood element concentrations.
This study is based on blood samples collected from 2982 women in gestational week 18 in The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study (MoBa) which were analyzed as part of the Norwegian Environmental Biobank. We derived blood element patterns by exploratory factor analysis, and associations between blood element patterns and diet were explored using sparse partial least squares (sPLS) regression.
Blood concentrations were determined for the essential elements (in the order of most abundant) Zn?>?Cu?>?Se?>?Mn?>?Mo?>?Co, and the toxic metals Pb?>?As?>?Hg?>?Cd?>?Tl. The concentrations were in ranges that were similar to or sometimes more favorable than in other pregnant and non-pregnant European women. We identified two blood element patterns; one including Zn, Se and Mn and another including Hg and As. For the Zn-Se-Mn pattern, use of multimineral supplements was the most important dietary determinant, while a high score in the Hg-As pattern was mainly determined by seafood consumption. Concentrations of Mn, Cd and Co were significantly higher in women with iron deficiency (plasma ferritin?
Methyl mercury (MeHg) is a well-known neurotoxin and evidence suggests that also low level exposure may affect prenatal neurodevelopment. Uncertainty exists as to whether the maternal MeHg burden in Norway might affect child neurodevelopment.
To evaluate the association between prenatal mercury exposure, maternal seafood consumption and child language and communication skills at age five.
The study sample comprised 38,581 mother-child pairs in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Maternal mercury blood concentration in gestational week 17 was analysed in a sub-sample of 2239 women. Prenatal mercury exposure from maternal diet was calculated from a validated FFQ answered in mid-pregnancy. Mothers reported children's language and communications skills at age five by a questionnaire including questions from the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), the Speech and Language Assessment Scale (SLAS) and the Twenty Statements about Language-Related Difficulties (language 20). We performed linear regression analyses adjusting for maternal characteristics, nutritional status and socioeconomic factors.
Median maternal blood mercury concentration was 1.03µg/L, dietary mercury exposure was 0.15µg/kgbw/wk, and seafood intake was 217g/wk. Blood mercury concentrations were not associated with any language and communication scales. Increased dietary mercury exposure was significantly associated with improved SLAS scores when mothers had a seafood intake below 400g/wk in the adjusted analysis. Sibling matched analysis showed a small significant adverse association between those above the 90th percentile dietary mercury exposure and the SLAS scores. Maternal seafood intake during pregnancy was positively associated with the language and communication scales.
Low levels of prenatal mercury exposure were positively associated with language and communication skills at five years. However, the matched sibling analyses suggested an adverse association between mercury and child language skills in the highest exposure group. This indicates that prenatal low level mercury exposure still needs our attention.