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Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Jan 2;53(1):422-433. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b01857. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Repeated Measurements of Paraben Exposure during Pregnancy in Relation to Fetal and Early Childhood Growth.

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Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Environmental Protection, and State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College , Huazhong University of Science and Technology , Wuhan , Hubei 430074 , People's Republic of China.
State Key Laboratory of Environmental and Biological Analysis, Department of Chemistry , Hong Kong Baptist University , Hong Kong, SAR , People's Republic of China.
Women and Children Medical and Healthcare Center of Wuhan , Wuhan , Hubei 430074 , People's Republic of China.
Department of Epidemiology , Brown University , Providence , Rhode Island 02912 , United States.
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health , Zhengzhou University , Zhengzhou , Henan 450001 , People's Republic of China.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College , Huazhong University of Science and Technology , Wuhan , Hubei 430030 , People's Republic of China.


Parabens are potential endocrine disruptors with short half-lives in the human body. To date, few epidemiological studies regarding repeated paraben measurements during pregnancy associated with fetal and childhood growth have been conducted. Within a Chinese prenatal cohort, 850 mother-infant pairs from whom a complete set of maternal urine samples were acquired during three trimesters were included, and the levels of five parabens were measured. We assessed the associations of both average and trimester-specific urinary paraben levels with weight and height z-scores at birth, 6 months, 1, and 2 years of age. In all infants, each doubling increase in average ethyl paraben (EtP) was associated with -2.82% (95% CI: -5.11%, -0.53%) decrease in weight z-score at birth, whereas no significant age-specific associations were identified. After stratifying by sex, we further observed age-specific association of average EtP with -3.96% (95% CI: -7.03%, -0.89%) and -3.38% (95% CI: 6.72%, -0.03%) reduction in weight z-scores at 1 and 2 years in males, respectively. Third-trimester EtP was negatively associated with weight z-scores at birth, 1 and 2 years in males. Our results suggested negative associations between prenatal paraben exposure and fetal and childhood growth, and the third trimester may be the window of susceptibility.


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