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Chemosphere. 2007 Jun;68(5):972-6. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Concentrations of organochlorine pollutants in mothers who gave birth to neonates with congenital hypothyroidism.

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  • 1Laboratory of Environmental Molecular Epidemiology, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, and Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Fukuoka Children's Hospital, Japan.


We have investigated the effects of prenatal exposure to dioxin-like compounds (PCDDs, PCDFs and dioxin-like PCBs), PCBs and organochlorine pesticides (DDT, HCH, chlordane, HCB and their metabolites) on the incidence of congenital hypothyroidism and/or cretinism in Fukuoka, Japan from 2001 to 2004. Thirty-four positive neonates of the mass-screening for cretinism were classified into three groups by the pediatrician after the reevaluation of the serum TSH level, that is, negative in reevaluation group, hyper thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) emia group and cretinism group. One-hundred and two negative neonates of the mass-screening were classified into the normal group. Concentrations of these organochlorine compounds in the breast milk of mothers, which were considered as the indicator of prenatal exposures to them, were gradually increased from the normal group to the cretinism group in the four groups and were around two times higher in the cretinism group than in the normal group. According to the case-control study adjusted for the parity and mother's age, odds ratios of PCBs, DDT and HCB were 10 (p=0.003), 10 (p=0.003) and 22 (p=0.004), respectively and in dioxin-like compounds, PCDFs showed the highest odds ratio, 9.8 (p=0.005). Based upon those findings, these compounds seemed play an important role in the incidence and/or causation of the cretinism.

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