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Am J Epidemiol. 2000 Oct 15;152(8):693-700.

Genetic susceptibility to benzene and shortened gestation: evidence of gene-environment interaction.

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Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, MA 02118, USA.


This study investigated whether the association between low level benzene exposure and shortened gestation is modified by two susceptibility genes, CYP1A1 and GSTT1. This report includes 542 (302 nonexposed, 240 benzene-exposed) nonsmoking and nondrinking mothers of singleton live births at Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Corporation between June 1995 and June 1997. Epidemiologic and clinical data and blood samples were obtained from mothers. Multiple linear regression models were used to estimate the associations of benzene exposure and genetic susceptibility with gestational age, adjusting for maternal age, education, parity, stress, passive smoking, prepregnancy weight and height, and infant's sex. Without consideration of genotype, benzene exposure was associated with a decrease in mean gestational age of 0.29 (standard error (SE), 0.12) week. When stratified by the maternal CYP1A1 genotype, the estimated decrease was 0.54 (SE, 0.12) week for the AA group, which was significantly greater (p = 0.003) than that for the Aa/aa group, which showed no decrease in gestational age. When both CYP1A1 and GSTT1 were considered, the greatest decrease was found among exposed mothers with the CYP1A1 AA-GSTT1 absent group (0.79 (SE, 0.25) week) and the CYP1A1 AA-GSTT1 present group (0.50 (SE, 0.22) week). Among the nonexposed, genetic susceptibility alone did not confer a significant adverse effect. This study provides evidence of gene-environment interaction and supports further assessment of the role of genetic susceptibility in the evaluation of reproductive toxins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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