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Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Feb;121(2):231-6. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1205301. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Persistent environmental pollutants and couple fecundity: the LIFE study.

Author information

1
Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, USA. louisg@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Evidence suggesting that persistent environmental pollutants may be reproductive toxicants underscores the need for prospective studies of couples for whom exposures are measured.

OBJECTIVES:

We examined the relationship between selected persistent pollutants and couple fecundity as measured by time to pregnancy.

METHODS:

A cohort of 501 couples who discontinued contraception to become pregnant was prospectively followed for 12 months of trying to conceive or until a human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) test confirmed pregnancy. Couples completed daily journals on lifestyle and provided biospecimens for the quantification of 9 organochlorine pesticides, 1 polybrominated biphenyl, 10 polybrominated diphenyl ethers, 36 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 7 perfluorochemicals (PFCs) in serum. Using Cox models for discrete time, we estimated fecundability odds ratios (FORs) and 95% CIs separately for each partner's concentrations adjusting for age, body mass index, serum cotinine, serum lipids (except for PFCs), and study site (Michigan or Texas); sensitivity models were further adjusted for left truncation or time off of contraception (≤ 2 months) before enrollment.

RESULTS:

The adjusted reduction in fecundability associated with standard deviation increases in log-transformed serum concentrations ranged between 18% and 21% for PCB congeners 118, 167, 209, and perfluorooctane sulfonamide in females; and between 17% and 29% for p,p´-DDE and PCB congeners 138, 156, 157, 167, 170, 172, and 209 in males. The strongest associations were observed for PCB 167 (FOR 0.79; 95% CI: 0.64, 0.97) in females and PCB 138 (FOR = 0.71; 95% CI: 0.52, 0.98) in males.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this couple-based prospective cohort study with preconception enrollment and quantification of exposures in both female and male partners, we observed that a subset of persistent environmental chemicals were associated with reduced fecundity.

PMID:
23151773
PMCID:
PMC3569685
DOI:
10.1289/ehp.1205301
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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