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Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Oct;119(10):1436-41. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1003184. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Prenatal lead exposure and weight of 0- to 5-year-old children in Mexico city.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cumulative prenatal lead exposure, as measured by maternal bone lead burden, has been associated with smaller weight of offspring at birth and 1 month of age, but no study has examined whether this effect persists into early childhood.

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated the association of perinatal maternal bone lead, a biomarker of cumulative prenatal lead exposure, with children's attained weight over time from birth to 5 years of age.

METHODS:

Children were weighed at birth and at several intervals up until 60 months. Maternal tibia and patella lead were measured at 1 month postpartum using in vivo K-shell X-ray fluorescence. We used varying coefficient models with random effects to assess the association of maternal bone lead with weight trajectories of 522 boys and 477 girls born between 1994 and 2005 in Mexico City.

RESULTS:

After controlling for breast-feeding duration, maternal anthropometry, and sociodemographic characteristics, a 1-SD increase in maternal patella lead (micrograms per gram) was associated with a 130.9-g decrease in weight [95% confidence interval (CI), -227.4 to -34.4 g] among females and a 13.0-g nonsignificant increase in weight among males (95% CI, -73.7 to 99.9 g) at 5 years of age. These associations were similar after controlling for concurrent blood lead levels between birth and 5 years.

CONCLUSIONS:

Maternal bone lead was associated with lower weight over time among female but not male children up to 5 years of age. Given that the association was evident for patellar but not tibial lead levels, and was limited to females, results need to be confirmed in other studies.

PMID:
21715242
PMCID:
PMC3230436
DOI:
10.1289/ehp.1003184
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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