Section of Environment and Radiation, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon CEDEX 08, France; E-Mails: firstname.lastname@example.org (J.S.); email@example.com (G.F.); firstname.lastname@example.org (K.S.).
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 May;8(5):1341-57
AGRICOH is a recently formed consortium of agricultural cohort studies involving 22 cohorts from nine countries in five continents: South Africa (1), Canada (3), Costa Rica (2), USA (6), Republic of Korea (1), New Zealand (2), Denmark (1), France (3) and Norway (3). The aim of AGRICOH, initiated by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), is to promote and sustain collaboration and pooling of data to investigate the association between a wide range of agricultural exposures and a wide range of health outcomes, with a particular focus on associations that cannot easily be addressed in individual studies because of rare exposures (e.g., use of infrequently applied chemicals) or relatively rare outcomes (e.g., certain types of cancer, neurologic and auto-immune diseases). To facilitate future projects the need for data harmonization of selected variables is required and is underway. Altogether, AGRICOH provides excellent opportunities for studying cancer, respiratory, neurologic, and auto-immune diseases as well as reproductive and allergic disorders, injuries and overall mortality in association with a wide array of exposures, prominent among these the application of pesticides.
The prevalence of class III obesity (body mass index [BMI]=40 kg/m2) has increased dramatically in several countries and currently affects 6% of adults in the US, with uncertain impact on the risks of illness and death. Using data from a large pooled study, we evaluated the risk of death, overall and due to a wide range of causes, and years of life expectancy lost associated with class III obesity.
In a pooled analysis of 20 prospective studies from the United States, Sweden, and Australia, we estimated sex- and age-adjusted total and cause-specific mortality rates (deaths per 100,000 persons per year) and multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for adults, aged 19-83 y at baseline, classified as obese class III (BMI 40.0-59.9 kg/m2) compared with those classified as normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m2). Participants reporting ever smoking cigarettes or a history of chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, stroke, or emphysema) on baseline questionnaires were excluded. Among 9,564 class III obesity participants, mortality rates were 856.0 in men and 663.0 in women during the study period (1976-2009). Among 304,011 normal-weight participants, rates were 346.7 and 280.5 in men and women, respectively. Deaths from heart disease contributed largely to the excess rates in the class III obesity group (rate differences?=?238.9 and 132.8 in men and women, respectively), followed by deaths from cancer (rate differences?=?36.7 and 62.3 in men and women, respectively) and diabetes (rate differences?=?51.2 and 29.2 in men and women, respectively). Within the class III obesity range, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for total deaths and deaths due to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, nephritis/nephrotic syndrome/nephrosis, chronic lower respiratory disease, and influenza/pneumonia increased with increasing BMI. Compared with normal-weight BMI, a BMI of 40-44.9, 45-49.9, 50-54.9, and 55-59.9 kg/m2 was associated with an estimated 6.5 (95% CI: 5.7-7.3), 8.9 (95% CI: 7.4-10.4), 9.8 (95% CI: 7.4-12.2), and 13.7 (95% CI: 10.5-16.9) y of life lost. A limitation was that BMI was mainly ascertained by self-report.
Class III obesity is associated with substantially elevated rates of total mortality, with most of the excess deaths due to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and major reductions in life expectancy compared with normal weight. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
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Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a group of highly persistent chemicals that are widespread contaminants in wildlife and humans. Exposure to PFAS affects thyroid homeostasis in experimental animals and possibly in humans. The objective of this study was to examine the association between plasma concentrations of PFASs and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) among pregnant women.
A total of 903 pregnant women who enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study from 2003 to 2004 were studied. Concentrations of thirteen PFASs and TSH were measured in plasma samples collected around the 18th week of gestation. Linear regression models were used to evaluate associations between PFASs and TSH.
Among the thirteen PFASs, seven were detected in more than 60% of samples and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) had the highest concentrations (median, 12.8 ng/mL; inter-quartile range [IQR], 10.1 -16.5 ng/mL). The median TSH concentration was 3.5 (IQR, 2.4 - 4.8) µIU/mL. Pregnant women with higher PFOS had higher TSH levels. After adjustment, with each 1 ng/mL increase in PFOS concentration, there was a 0.8% (95% confidence interval: 0.1%, 1.6%) rise in TSH. The odds ratio of having an abnormally high TSH, however, was not increased, and other PFASs were unrelated to TSH.
Our results suggest an association between PFOS and TSH in pregnant women that is small and may be of no clinical significance.
Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA. email@example.com
Recent findings suggest that maternal smoking during pregnancy may play a role in the development of metabolic alterations in offspring during childhood. However, whether such exposure increases the risk of developing similar metabolic alterations during adulthood is uncertain.
We evaluated the association of in utero exposure to maternal tobacco smoke with plasma lipids, apolipoprotein B (apoB), and C-reactive protein (CRP) in adulthood.
The study was based on a subsample of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) and included 479 pregnant women with plasma lipids, apoB, and CRP measurements. Information on in utero exposure to tobacco smoke, personal smoking, and other factors were obtained from the women by a self-completed questionnaire at enrollment, at approximately 17 weeks of gestation.
Women exposed to tobacco smoke in utero had higher triglycerides [10.7% higher; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.9, 17.9] and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) (-1.9 mg/dL; 95% CI: -4.3, 0.5) compared with unexposed women, after adjusting for age, physical activity, education, personal smoking, and current body mass index (BMI). Exposed women were also more likely to have triglycerides = 200 mg/dL [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.5; 95% CI: 1.3, 5.1] and HDL
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The etiologies of the male urogenital anomalies hypospadias and cryptorchidism remain unclear. It has been suggested that maternal diet and environmental contaminants may affect the risk of these anomalies via placental or hormonal disturbances.
We examined associations between organic food consumption during pregnancy and prevalence of hypospadias and cryptorchidism at birth.
Our study includes 35,107 women participating in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) who delivered a singleton male infant. Information about use of six groups of organically produced food (vegetables, fruit, bread/cereal, milk/dairy products, eggs, and meat) during pregnancy was collected by a food frequency questionnaire. Women who indicated that they sometimes, often, or mostly consumed organic foods in at least one of the six food groups were classified as organic food consumers in analyses. Hypospadias and cryptorchidism diagnoses were retrieved from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using multiple logistic regression.
Seventy-four male newborns were diagnosed with hypospadias (0.2%), and 151 with cryptorchidism (0.4%). Women who consumed any organic food during pregnancy were less likely to give birth to a boy with hypospadias (OR = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.25, 0.70, based on 21 exposed cases) than women who reported they never or seldom consumed organic food. Associations with specific organic foods were strongest for vegetable (OR = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.15, 0.85; 10 exposed cases) and milk/dairy (OR = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.17, 1.07; 7 exposed cases) consumption. No substantial association was observed for consumption of organic food and cryptorchidism.
Consumption of organically produced foods during pregnancy was associated with a lower prevalence of hypospadias in our study population. These findings were based on small numbers of cases and require replication in other study populations.
Perfluorinated compounds are ubiquitous pollutants; epidemiologic data suggest they may be associated with adverse health outcomes, including subfecundity. We examined subfecundity in relation to 2 perfluorinated compounds-perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
This case-control analysis included 910 women enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study in 2003 and 2004. Around gestational week 17, women reported their time to pregnancy and provided blood samples. Cases consisted of 416 women with a time to pregnancy greater than 12 months, considered subfecund. Plasma concentrations of perfluorinated compounds were analyzed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for each pollutant quartile using logistic regression. Estimates were further stratified by parity.
The median plasma concentration of PFOS was 13.0 ng/mL (interquartile range [IQR] = 10.3-16.6 ng/mL) and of PFOA was 2.2 ng/mL (IQR = 1.7-3.0 ng/mL). The relative odds of subfecundity among parous women was 2.1 (95% CI = 1.2-3.8) for the highest PFOS quartile and 2.1 (1.0-4.0) for the highest PFOA quartile. Among nulliparous women, the respective relative odds were 0.7 (0.4-1.3) and 0.5 (0.2-1.2).
Previous studies suggest that the body burden of perfluorinated compounds decreases during pregnancy and lactation through transfer to the fetus and to breast milk. Afterward, the body burden may increase again. Among parous women, increased body burden may be due to a long interpregnancy interval rather than the cause of a long time to pregnancy. Therefore, data from nulliparous women may be more informative regarding toxic effects of perfluorinated compounds. Our results among nulliparous women did not support an association with subfecundity.
Perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid are perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) widely distributed in the environment. Previous studies of PFCs and birth weight are equivocal. The authors examined this association in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), using data from 901 women enrolled from 2003 to 2004 and selected for a prior case-based study of PFCs and subfecundity. Maternal plasma samples were obtained around 17 weeks of gestation. Outcomes included birth weight z scores, preterm birth, small for gestational age, and large for gestational age. The adjusted birth weight z scores were slightly lower among infants born to mothers in the highest quartiles of PFCs compared with infants born to mothers in the lowest quartiles: for perfluorooctane sulfonate, ß = -0.18 (95% confidence interval: -0.41, 0.05) and, for perfluorooctanoic acid, ß = -0.21 (95% confidence interval: -0.45, 0.04). No clear evidence of an association with small for gestational age or large for gestational age was observed. Perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid were each associated with decreased adjusted odds of preterm birth, although the cell counts were small. Whether some of the associations suggested by these findings may be due to a noncausal pharmacokinetic mechanism remains unclear.
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Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, DHHS, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA; Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are widespread and persistent environmental pollutants. Previous studies, primarily among non-pregnant individuals, suggest positive associations between PFAS levels and certain blood lipids. If there is a causal link between PFAS concentrations and elevated lipids during pregnancy, this may suggest a mechanism by which PFAS exposure leads to certain adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preeclampsia.
This cross-sectional analysis included 891 pregnant women enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child (MoBa) Cohort Study in 2003-2004. Non-fasting plasma samples were obtained at mid-pregnancy and analyzed for nineteen PFASs. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides were measured in plasma. Linear regression was used to quantify associations between each PFAS exposure and each lipid outcome. A multiple PFAS model was also fitted.
Seven PFASs were quantifiable in >50% of samples. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) concentration was associated with total cholesterol, which increased 4.2mg/dL per inter-quartile shift (95% CI=0.8, 7.7) in adjusted models. Five of the seven PFASs studied were positively associated with HDL cholesterol, and all seven had elevated HDL associated with the highest quartile of exposure. Perfluoroundecanoic acid showed the strongest association with HDL: HDL increased 3.7 mg/dL per inter-quartile shift (95% CI=2.5, 4.9).
Plasma concentrations of PFASs were positively associated with HDL cholesterol, and PFOS was positively associated with total cholesterol in this sample of pregnant Norwegian women. While elevated HDL is not an adverse outcome per se, elevated total cholesterol associated with PFASs during pregnancy could be of concern if causal.
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent and ubiquitous environmental contaminants, and human exposure to these substances may be related to preeclampsia, a common pregnancy complication. Previous studies have found serum concentrations of PFAS to be positively associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia in a population with high levels of exposure to perfluorooctanoate. Whether this association exists among pregnant women with background levels of PFAS exposure is unknown. Using data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, we carried out a study of nulliparous pregnant women enrolled in 2003-2007 (466 cases, 510 noncases) to estimate associations between PFAS concentrations and an independently validated diagnosis of preeclampsia. We measured levels of 9 PFAS in maternal plasma extracted midpregnancy; statistical analyses were restricted to 7 PFAS that were quantifiable in more than 50% of samples. In proportional hazards models adjusted for maternal age, prepregnancy body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)(2)), educational level, and smoking status, we observed no strongly positive associations between PFAS levels and preeclampsia. We found an inverse association between preeclampsia and the highest quartile of perfluoroundecanoic acid concentration relative to the lowest quartile (hazard ratio = 0.55, 95% confidence interval: 0.38, 0.81). Overall, our findings do not support an increased risk of preeclampsia among nulliparous Norwegian women with background levels of PFAS exposure.
Triclosan (TCS) is a synthetic antibacterial chemical that is used in personal care products and is measurable in urine. Urinary TCS has been associated with allergy in children in Norway and the United States. A reasonable degree of temporal reliability of TCS urinary concentrations has been reported among US children as well as for Puerto Rican pregnant women. We examined the reliability of TCS measures in urine among Norwegian pregnant women. TCS was measured in spot urine samples collected in gestational weeks 17, 23, and 29 from 45 women in The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) enrolled in 2007 and 2008. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rs) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) statistics were calculated. Fifty-six percent of the 45 women had a least one sample with a value above the method limit of detection (2.3?µg/l). The correlation coefficients were 0.61 for TCS concentrations at 17 and 23 weeks and 0.49 for concentrations at 17 and 29 weeks. For the three time points, the ICC was 0.49. The reliability of TCS concentrations in repeated urine samples from pregnant Norwegian women was reasonably good, suggesting a single urine sample can adequately represent TCS exposure during pregnancy.
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