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Environ Health Perspect. 2001 Jun;109(6):629-31.

Arsenic in drinking water and pregnancy outcomes.

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  • 1National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dhaka, Bangladesh. anon@bdcom.com


We studied a group of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) who were chronically exposed to arsenic through drinking water to identify the pregnancy outcomes in terms of live birth, stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, and preterm birth. We compared pregnancy outcomes of exposed respondents with pregnancy outcomes of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) who were not exposed to arsenic-contaminated water. In a cross-sectional study, we matched the women in both exposed and nonexposed groups for age, socioeconomic status, education, and age at marriage. The total sample size was 192, with 96 women in each group (i.e., exposed and nonexposed). Of the respondents in the exposed group, 98% had been drinking water containing [Greater and equal to] 0.10 mg/L arsenic and 43.8% had been drinking arsenic-contaminated water for 5-10 years. Skin manifestation due to chronic arsenic exposure was present in 22.9% of the respondents. Adverse pregnancy outcomes in terms of spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and preterm birth rates were significantly higher in the exposed group than those in the nonexposed group (p = 0.008, p = 0.046, and p = 0.018, respectively).

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