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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 Dec 6;9(12):4470-85. doi: 10.3390/ijerph9124470.

Exposure to drinking water trihalomethanes and their association with low birth weight and small for gestational age in genetically susceptible women.

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Department of Environmental sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania.


Little is known about genetic susceptibility to individual trihalomethanes (THM) in relation to adverse pregnancy outcomes. We conducted a nested case-control study of 682 pregnant women in Kaunas (Lithuania) and, using individual information on drinking water, ingestion, showering and bathing, and uptake factors of THMs in blood, estimated an internal THM dose. We used logistic regression to evaluate the relationship between internal THM dose, birth outcomes and individual and joint (modifying) effects of metabolic gene polymorphisms. THM exposure during entire pregnancy and specific trimesters slightly increased low birth weight (LBW) risk. When considering both THM exposure and maternal genotypes, the largest associations were found for third trimester among total THM (TTHM) and chloroform-exposed women with the GSTM1-0 genotype (OR: 4.37; 95% CI: 1.36-14.08 and OR: 5.06; 95% CI: 1.50-17.05, respectively). A test of interaction between internal THM dose and GSTM1-0 genotype suggested a modifying effect of exposure to chloroform and bromodichloromethane on LBW risk. However, the effect on small for gestational age (SGA) was not statistically significant. These data suggest that THM internal dose may affect foetal growth and that maternal GSTM1 genotype modifies the THM exposure effects on LBW.

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