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.
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have been in widespread use in a vast array of consumer products since the 1970s. The metabolites of some BFRs show a structural similarity to thyroid hormones and experimental animal studies have confirmed that they may interfere with thyroid hormone homeostasis. A major concern has been whether intrauterine exposure to BFRs may disturb thyroid homeostasis since the fetal brain is particularly susceptible to alterations in thyroid hormones. However, few reports on newborns have been published to date.
To evaluate the association between BFRs and neonatal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
We studied six polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) measured in milk samples from 239 women who were part of the "Norwegian Human Milk Study" (HUMIS), 2003-2006. Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and BDE-209 were measured in a subset of the women (193 and 46 milk samples, respectively). The milk was sampled at a median of 33 days after delivery. TSH was measured in babies three days after delivery as part of the routine national screening program for early detection of congenital hypothyroidism. Additional information was obtained through the Medical Birth Registry and questionnaires to the mothers.
The PBDE concentrations in human milk in Norway were comparable to concentrations reported from other European countries and Asia, but not the US and Canada where levels are approximately one order of higher magnitude. We observed no statistically significant associations between BDE-47, 99, 153, 154, 209 and HBCD in human milk and TSH in models adjusted for possible confounders and other environmental toxicants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
We did not observe an association between TSH and exposure to HBCD and PBDEs within the exposure levels observed.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder. Effective long-term treatment options are limited, which warrants increased focus on potential modifiable risk factors. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between maternal diet quality during pregnancy and child diet quality and child ADHD symptoms and ADHD diagnosis.
This study is based on the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). We assessed maternal diet quality with the Prenatal Diet Quality Index (PDQI) and Ultra-Processed Food Index (UPFI) around mid-gestation, and child diet quality using the Diet Quality Index (CDQI) at 3?years. ADHD symptoms were assessed at child age 8?years using the Parent Rating Scale for Disruptive Behaviour Disorders. ADHD diagnoses were retrieved from the Norwegian Patient Registry.
In total, 77,768 mother-child pairs were eligible for studying ADHD diagnoses and 37,787 for ADHD symptoms. Means (SD) for the PDQI, UPFI and CDQI were 83.1 (9.3), 31.8 (9.7) and 60.3 (10.6), respectively. Mean (SD) ADHD symptom score was 8.4 (7.1) and ADHD diagnosis prevalence was 2.9% (male to female ratio 2.6:1). For one SD increase in maternal diet index scores, we saw a change in mean (percent) ADHD symptom score of -?0.28 (-?3.3%) (CI: -?0.41, -?0.14 (-?4.8, -?1.6%)) for PDQI scores and 0.25 (+?3.0%) (CI: 0.13, 0.38 (1.5, 4.5%)) for UPFI scores. A one SD increase in PDQI score was associated with a relative risk of ADHD diagnosis of 0.87 (CI: 0.79, 0.97). We found no reliable associations with either outcomes for the CDQI, and no reliable change in risk of ADHD diagnosis for the UPFI.
We provide evidence that overall maternal diet quality during pregnancy is associated with a small decrease in ADHD symptom score at 8?years and lower risk for ADHD diagnosis, with more robust findings for the latter outcome. Consumption of ultra-processed foods was only associated with increased ADHD symptom score of similar magnitude as for overall maternal diet quality, and we found no associations between child diet quality and either outcome. No causal inferences should be made based on these results, due to potential unmeasured confounding.
A previous study reported a negative association between perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA) concentrations and fecundability.
We examined this association among women enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), in 2003-2004. This analysis was restricted to 451 primiparous women to avoid bias due to previous pregnancy. Self-reported time-to-pregnancy (TTP) and plasma were obtained around 18 weeks of gestation. Approximately half of the women had measurable PFOSA levels; missing values were multiply imputed. We used the logistic analogue of discrete-time survival analysis to examine the adjusted association between PFOSA, other perfluoroalkyl substances, and TTP.
The median-measured PFOSA concentration was 0.03?ng/ml (interquartile range = 0.02, 0.07). The age and body mass index-adjusted association between an interquartile distance increase in PFOSA and TTP was 0.91 (95% confidence interval = 0.71, 1.17). Imputation of missing PFOSA resulted in similar estimates. No association was observed with other perfluoroalkyl substances.
Based on a weakly decreased fecundability odds ratio, we found only limited support for an association between plasma PFOSA concentrations and TTP among primiparous women. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/EDE/B79.
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Mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) are of great concern for food safety and infants are especially sensitive to exposure to the maternal body burden. We quantified these elements in breast milk from Norwegian mothers and determined their association with dietary habits, maternal amalgam fillings, and smoking. Breast milk (n?=?300) from the Norwegian Human Milk Study (HUMIS) was analyzed using triple quadrupole inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, after an acidic decomposition using microwave technique. We used multiple linear regression to examine predictors of Hg and Cd in breast milk, and logistic regression to test predictors of Pb above the quantification limit. The median breast milk concentrations (minimum - maximum) were 0.20?µg Hg/kg (
Developmental neurotoxicants (DNTs), such as methylmercury (MeHg), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and selected organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), have gained increasing interest recently due to their possible relation to developmental disorders in children, which are increasing worldwide. We analyzed levels of 14 developmental neurotoxicants in human milk samples from Slovakia (n=37), the Netherlands (n=120) and Norway (n=388). Positive identification for most target analytes was >95% in all samples. In all three countries MeHg was measured for the first time in mother milk. The highest MeHg levels were observed in Norway (39pgg-1 ww) with the highest fish consumption. Levels of indicator PCBs (iPCBs, sum of PCB 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180), HCB and DDE+DDT were 2-4 times higher in Slovakia compared to the Netherlands or Norway. The levels of MeHg and organochlorine compounds were used for calculations of weekly or daily intakes (top-down approach) by means of pharmacokinetic modeling. The intakes ranged from 0.014 to 0.142µgkgbw-1week-1 for MeHg and from 0.043 to 17.4ngkgbw-1day-1 for organochlorine compounds in all three countries. Intakes of iPCBs exceeded a tolerable daily intake of 10ngkgbw-1day-1 in 16% of the Slovak participants. The top-down estimates were compared with bottom-up intakes based on national dietary estimates and the results showed good consistency between both approaches, with the bottom-up intakes exceeding the top-down by a factor of maximum 3.8 for iPCBs in the Netherlands and 3.9 for HCB in Slovakia. This confirms that food consumption in all three countries represents the dominant pathway of exposure to these developmental neurotoxicants.
Knowledge of the composition of a normal healthy gut microbiota during infancy is important for understanding the role of gut microbiota in disease. A limitation of previous studies is that they are based on infants who have been subject to factors, which can have a profound disruptive effect on the natural colonization process. We describe the colonization process, during the first 4 months after birth, in 85 infants who have experienced no major medical or dietary interventions. They were all vaginally delivered, healthy, term infants, who were not exposed to antibiotics, exclusively breastfed during their first month of life and at least partially breastfed up to 4 months. Selected microbial groups were identified by targeting small subunit microbial ribosomal RNA genes. In contrast to more recent studies, but in agreement with older studies, almost all our infants harbored ?-Proteobacteria and Bifidobacterium. Yet undefined non-cultivable species belonging to Bacteroides, as well as microbes identified as Lachnospiraceae 2, were common. Strong associations were observed between some specific constituents of microbiota at day 4 and the concentration of specific microbial groups at day 120, indicating that early gut microbiota may influence later microbiota. Novel information of the undisturbed composition of early gut microbiota in babies is presented.
Early disruption of the microbial community may influence life-long health. Environmental toxicants can contaminate breast milk and the developing infant gut microbiome is directly exposed. We investigated whether environmental toxicants in breastmilk affect the composition and function of the infant gut microbiome at 1 month. We measured environmental toxicants in breastmilk, fecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and gut microbial composition from 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing using samples from 267 mother-child pairs in the Norwegian Microbiota Cohort (NoMIC). We tested 28 chemical exposures: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated flame retardants (PBDEs), per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), and organochlorine pesticides. We assessed chemical exposure and alpha diversity/SCFAs using elastic net regression modeling and generalized linear models, adjusting for confounders, and variation in beta diversity (UniFrac), taxa abundance (ANCOM), and predicted metagenomes (PiCRUSt) in low, medium, and high exposed groups.
PBDE-28 and the surfactant perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) were associated with less microbiome diversity. Some sub-OTUs of Lactobacillus, an important genus in early life, were lower in abundance in samples from infants with relative "high" (>?80th percentile) vs. "low" (
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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Childhood obesity is a growing problem worldwide. Recent research suggests that the gut microbiota may play an important and potentially causal role in the development of obesity and may be one mechanism that explains the transgenerational transmission of obesity risk. Here we examine the early-life gut microbiota at days 4, 10, 30, 120, 365, and 730 and the association with body mass index (BMI) z-scores at age 12 in a Norwegian prospective cohort (n?=?165), and evaluate how these BMI-associated taxa relate to maternal overweight/obesity (Ow/Ob) and excessive gestational weight gain (GWG). We performed 16S rRNA gene sequencing on the gut microbiota samples. Taxonomic phylogeny at days 10 and 730 was significantly associated with childhood BMI, and the gut microbiota taxa at two years of age explained over 50% of the variation in childhood BMI in this cohort. The subset of the early-life taxa within the gut microbiota that best predicted later childhood BMI showed substantial overlap with the maternal taxa most strongly associated with maternal Ow/Ob and excessive GWG. Our results show an association between the infant gut microbiota and later BMI, and they offer preliminary evidence that the infant gut microbiota, particularly at 2?years of age, may have potential to help identify children at risk for obesity.IMPORTANCE Understanding the role of the early-life gut microbiota in obesity is important because there may be opportunities for preventive strategies. We examined the relationships between infant gut microbiota at six times during the first two years of life and BMI at age 12 in a birth cohort of 165 children and their mothers. We found that the gut microbiota from early life to two years shows an increasingly strong association with childhood BMI. This study provides preliminary evidence that the gut microbiome at 2?years of age may offer useful information to help to identify youth who are at risk for obesity, which could facilitate more-targeted early prevention efforts.