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Reprod Toxicol. 2010 Nov;30(3):477-80. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2010.05.007. Epub 2010 May 16.

Early pregnancy blood lead levels and the risk of premature rupture of the membranes.

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Department of Hazard Assessment, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 6-21-6 Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-8585, Japan.


To clarify the effects of lead on fetal premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), blood lead concentrations were measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry in 332 women, aged 16-35 years, during their early pregnancy period (8-12 weeks). Blood lead concentrations were significantly higher in the 36 PROM deliveries than in the 296 non-PROM deliveries (mean ± SD, 4.61 ± 2.37 and 3.69 ± 1.85 μg/dl, respectively; p<0.05). The logistic regression analysis revealed that a 1-unit increase in the logarithm of the blood lead level led to a several-fold increase in the risk of PROM (unit risk=17.98, 95% CI 1.6-198.6). Thus, it is suggested that lead can increase the risk of PROM in pregnant women with mean blood lead less than 5 μg/dl.

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