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Chemosphere. 2007 Mar;67(3):498-504. Epub 2006 Nov 22.

Weight and height at 4 and 7 years of age in children born to mothers with a high intake of fish contaminated with persistent organochlorine pollutants.

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  • 1Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Psychiatric Epidemiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden.


In Sweden the main exposure route for persistent organochlorine pollutants (POP) is through consumption of fatty fish from the Baltic Sea (off the eastern coast). The present study aimed to investigate whether intrauterine exposure for POP may have negative impact on children's weight and height at 4 and 7 years of age, respectively. The study included 174 fishermen's wives from the Swedish east coast who had given birth to an infant with either low (n=55) or normal (n=119) birth weight, and 88 and 206 corresponding women from the Swedish west coast (where the fish is less polluted). Comparisons between the east and west coast cohorts were performed. In addition, blood samples were collected among the east coast women and the concentrations of 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153) in plasma was analyzed and estimated for the year of childbirth. There were no significant differences between the east and west coast cohorts regarding weight and height at 4 and 7 years of age. There were, however, significant negative associations between the estimated plasma concentrations of CB-153 during year of childbirth and weight at 4 and 7 years of age, respectively, among the normal birth weight children. The study gives only very weak support for the hypothesized association.

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