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Ann Epidemiol. 2003 Mar;13(3):151-7.

Persistent organochlorine compounds and birth weight.

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  • 1National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.



To determine whether weight at birth is related to prenatal exposure to persistent organochlorine compounds.


Birth weight was obtained for 197 singleton infants drawn from the general population born in two cities in Ukraine in 1993 to 1994. Concentrations of seven organochlorine pesticides (p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene, trans-nonachlor, oxychlordane, heptachlor epoxide) and 11 polychlorinated biphenyl congeners measured in maternal milk taken at four or five days after birth were used as an index of prenatal exposure.


The greatest differences were seen for beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, with a pattern not suggestive of dose-response; infants in the lowest tertile were small, those in the central tertile were large, and those in the upper tertile were average. Adjustment for gestational age and other potential confounders had little effect on these patterns. Infants in the two upper tertiles for p,p'-DDE were larger than those in the lower tertile, with the effect being more striking after adjustment for gestational age. Adjustment for potential confounders made the pattern disappear. Other chemicals showed no convincing evidence of effects.


Prenatal exposure to the chemicals studied, at concentrations currently seen in this population, does not impact weight at birth.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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