Maternal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) during pregnancy has been associated with reduced fetal growth. However, the role of diet, the main source of PAH exposure among non-smokers, remains uncertain.
To assess associations between maternal exposure to dietary intake of the genotoxic PAH benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] during pregnancy and birth weight, exploring potential effect modification by dietary intakes of vitamins C, E and A, hypothesized to influence PAH metabolism.
This study included 50,651 women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Dietary B(a)P and nutrient intakes were estimated based on total consumption obtained from a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and estimated based on food composition data. Data on infant birth weight were obtained from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (MBRN). Multivariate regression was used to assess associations between dietary B(a)P and birth weight, evaluating potential interactions with candidate nutrients.
The multivariate-adjusted coefficient (95%CI) for birth weight associated with maternal energy-adjusted B(a)P intake was -20.5g (-31.1, -10.0) in women in the third compared with the first tertile of B(a)P intake. Results were similar after excluding smokers. Significant interactions were found between elevated intakes of vitamin C (>85mg/day) and dietary B(a)P during pregnancy for birth weight (P