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Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Mar;121(3):393-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1205296. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Fetal growth and prenatal exposure to bisphenol A: the generation R study.

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Generation R Study Group, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.



Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been associated with adverse birth outcomes, but findings of previous studies have been inconsistent.


We investigated the relation of prenatal BPA exposure with intrauterine growth and evaluated the effect of the number of measurements per subject on observed associations.


This study was embedded in a Dutch population-based prospective cohort study, with urine samples collected during early, mid-, and late pregnancy. The study comprised 219 women, of whom 99 had one measurement, 40 had two measurements, and 80 had three measurements of urinary BPA. Fetal growth characteristics were repeatedly measured by ultrasound during pregnancy and combined with measurements at birth. Linear regression models for repeated measurements of both BPA and fetal growth were used to estimate associations between urinary concentrations of creatinine-based BPA (BPACB) and intrauterine growth.


The relationship between BPACB and fetal growth was sensitive to the number of BPA measurements per woman. Among 80 women with three BPA measurements, women with BPACB > 4.22 μg/g crea (creatinine) had lower growth rates for fetal weight and head circumference than did women with BPACB < 1.54 μg/g crea, with estimated differences in mean values at birth of -683 g (20.3% of mean) and -3.9 cm (11.5% of mean), respectively. When fewer measurements were available per woman, the exposure-response relationship became progressively attenuated and statistically nonsignificant.


Our findings suggest that maternal urinary BPA may impair fetal growth. Because previous studies have shown contradictory findings, further evidence is needed to corroborate these findings in the general population.

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