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Environ Health Perspect. 2017 May 26;125(5):057003. doi: 10.1289/EHP631.

Manganese in Drinking Water and Cognitive Abilities and Behavior at 10 Years of Age: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Author information

1
Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm, Sweden.
2
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), Dhaka, Bangladesh
3
Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (KIND), Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Unit, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
4
Center for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cross-sectional studies have indicated impaired neurodevelopment with elevated drinking water manganese concentrations (W-Mn), but potential susceptible exposure windows are unknown.

OBJECTIVES:

We prospectively evaluated the effects of W-Mn, from fetal life to school age, on children's cognitive abilities and behavior.

METHODS:

We assessed cognitive abilities and behavior in 1,265 ten-year-old children in rural Bangladesh using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), respectively. Manganese in drinking water used during pregnancy and by the children at 5 y and 10 y was measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

RESULTS:

The median W-Mn was 0.20 mg/L (range 0.001–6.6) during pregnancy and 0.34mg/L (<0.001–8.7) at 10 y. In multivariable-adjusted linear regression analyses, restricted to children with low arsenic (As) exposure, none of the W-Mn exposures was associated with the children’s cognitive abilities. Stratifying by gender (p for interaction in general <0.081) showed that prenatal W-Mn (3 mg/L) was positively associated with cognitive ability measures in girls but not in boys. W-Mn at all time points was associated with an increased risk of conduct problems, particularly in boys (range 24–43% per mg/L). At the same time, the prenatal W-Mn was associated with a decreased risk of emotional problems [odds ratio (OR)=0.39 (95% CI: 0.19, 0.82)] in boys. In girls, W-Mn was mainly associated with low prosocial scores [prenatal W-Mn: OR=1.48 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.88)].

CONCLUSIONS:

Elevated prenatal W-Mn exposure was positively associated with cognitive function in girls, whereas boys appeared to be unaffected. Early life W-Mn exposure appeared to adversely affect children's behavior. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP631.

PMID:
28564632
PMCID:
PMC5726374
DOI:
10.1289/EHP631
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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