The association between whole blood concentrations of heavy metals in pregnant women and premature births: The Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS)

Japan Environment & Children's Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Heavy metals are widely distributed in the environment. Recent reports have demonstrated the risk of preterm birth following heavy metal exposure. Preterm births are classified as early and late, depending on the duration of pregnancy, and are associated with increased risk of congenital illnesses such as heart failure, asthma, etc. Particularly, early preterm births carry a higher risk of mortality; however, the differential effects of heavy metal exposure on early and late preterm births are unknown. Objectives: To analyze the association between maternal whole blood concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), selenium (Se), and manganese (Mn) that are common toxicants in Japan, and early and late preterm births. Methods: The data of 14,847 pregnant women who were participants of the Japan Environment and Children's Study were used. Data of the self-questionnaire pertaining to the first trimester (T1), second/third trimester (T2), and medical records after delivery were analyzed. We divided preterm birth into two groups: early preterm (22 to < 34 weeks) and late preterm (34 to < 37 weeks). Maternal blood samples for measuring heavy metal concentrations were collected in T2 (pregnancy weeks: 14–39). The participants were classified into four quartiles (Q1–Q4) according to increasing heavy metal levels. Results: The rate of preterm birth was 4.5%. After controlling for confounding factors, such as age, pre-pregnancy body mass index, smoking, partner's smoking, drinking habits, gravidity, parity, number of cesarean deliveries, uterine infections, household income, educational levels, and sex of infant, Cd levels were found, by multivariable logistic regression analysis, to be significantly associated with early preterm birth (p = 0.002), with odds ratio for early preterm birth of 1.91 (95% confidence interval: 1.12–3.27, P = 0.018) in subjects of Q4 compared with in subjects with term birth (≧ 37 weeks). Conclusion: Maternal blood Cd levels during pregnancy are positively associated with the risk of early preterm birth among Japanese women. Identification of the main source of maternal Cd exposure may contribute to the prevention of early preterm births and health maintenance of mothers and their infants in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-569
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume166
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018

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Premature Birth
Heavy Metals
Pregnant Women
Japan
Blood
blood
heavy metal
Cadmium
pregnancy
cadmium
smoking
Mothers
Pregnancy
asthma
household income
Manganese
Selenium
drinking
Mercury
selenium

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

The association between whole blood concentrations of heavy metals in pregnant women and premature births : The Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS). / Japan Environment & Children's Study Group.

In: Environmental Research, Vol. 166, 01.10.2018, p. 562-569.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "The association between whole blood concentrations of heavy metals in pregnant women and premature births: The Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS)",
abstract = "Background: Heavy metals are widely distributed in the environment. Recent reports have demonstrated the risk of preterm birth following heavy metal exposure. Preterm births are classified as early and late, depending on the duration of pregnancy, and are associated with increased risk of congenital illnesses such as heart failure, asthma, etc. Particularly, early preterm births carry a higher risk of mortality; however, the differential effects of heavy metal exposure on early and late preterm births are unknown. Objectives: To analyze the association between maternal whole blood concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), selenium (Se), and manganese (Mn) that are common toxicants in Japan, and early and late preterm births. Methods: The data of 14,847 pregnant women who were participants of the Japan Environment and Children's Study were used. Data of the self-questionnaire pertaining to the first trimester (T1), second/third trimester (T2), and medical records after delivery were analyzed. We divided preterm birth into two groups: early preterm (22 to < 34 weeks) and late preterm (34 to < 37 weeks). Maternal blood samples for measuring heavy metal concentrations were collected in T2 (pregnancy weeks: 14–39). The participants were classified into four quartiles (Q1–Q4) according to increasing heavy metal levels. Results: The rate of preterm birth was 4.5{\%}. After controlling for confounding factors, such as age, pre-pregnancy body mass index, smoking, partner's smoking, drinking habits, gravidity, parity, number of cesarean deliveries, uterine infections, household income, educational levels, and sex of infant, Cd levels were found, by multivariable logistic regression analysis, to be significantly associated with early preterm birth (p = 0.002), with odds ratio for early preterm birth of 1.91 (95{\%} confidence interval: 1.12–3.27, P = 0.018) in subjects of Q4 compared with in subjects with term birth (≧ 37 weeks). Conclusion: Maternal blood Cd levels during pregnancy are positively associated with the risk of early preterm birth among Japanese women. Identification of the main source of maternal Cd exposure may contribute to the prevention of early preterm births and health maintenance of mothers and their infants in the future.",
author = "{Japan Environment & Children's Study Group} and Mayumi Tsuji and Eiji Shibata and Seiichi Morokuma and Rie Tanaka and Ayako Senju and Shunsuke Araki and Masafumi Sanefuji and Chihaya Koriyama and Megumi Yamamoto and Yasuhiro Ishihara and Koichi Kusuhara and Toshihiro Kawamoto and Hirohisa Saito and Reiko Kishi and Nobuo Yaegashi and Koichi Hashimoto and Chisato Mori and Shuichi Ito and Zentaro Yamagata and Hidekuni Inadera and Michihiro Kamijima and Takeo Nakayama and Hiroyasu Iso and Masayuki Shima and Yasuaki Hirooka and Narufumi Suganuma and Takahiko Katoh",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
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doi = "10.1016/j.envres.2018.06.025",
language = "English",
volume = "166",
pages = "562--569",
journal = "Environmental Research",
issn = "0013-9351",
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T1 - The association between whole blood concentrations of heavy metals in pregnant women and premature births

T2 - The Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS)

AU - Japan Environment & Children's Study Group

AU - Tsuji, Mayumi

AU - Shibata, Eiji

AU - Morokuma, Seiichi

AU - Tanaka, Rie

AU - Senju, Ayako

AU - Araki, Shunsuke

AU - Sanefuji, Masafumi

AU - Koriyama, Chihaya

AU - Yamamoto, Megumi

AU - Ishihara, Yasuhiro

AU - Kusuhara, Koichi

AU - Kawamoto, Toshihiro

AU - Saito, Hirohisa

AU - Kishi, Reiko

AU - Yaegashi, Nobuo

AU - Hashimoto, Koichi

AU - Mori, Chisato

AU - Ito, Shuichi

AU - Yamagata, Zentaro

AU - Inadera, Hidekuni

AU - Kamijima, Michihiro

AU - Nakayama, Takeo

AU - Iso, Hiroyasu

AU - Shima, Masayuki

AU - Hirooka, Yasuaki

AU - Suganuma, Narufumi

AU - Katoh, Takahiko

PY - 2018/10/1

Y1 - 2018/10/1

N2 - Background: Heavy metals are widely distributed in the environment. Recent reports have demonstrated the risk of preterm birth following heavy metal exposure. Preterm births are classified as early and late, depending on the duration of pregnancy, and are associated with increased risk of congenital illnesses such as heart failure, asthma, etc. Particularly, early preterm births carry a higher risk of mortality; however, the differential effects of heavy metal exposure on early and late preterm births are unknown. Objectives: To analyze the association between maternal whole blood concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), selenium (Se), and manganese (Mn) that are common toxicants in Japan, and early and late preterm births. Methods: The data of 14,847 pregnant women who were participants of the Japan Environment and Children's Study were used. Data of the self-questionnaire pertaining to the first trimester (T1), second/third trimester (T2), and medical records after delivery were analyzed. We divided preterm birth into two groups: early preterm (22 to < 34 weeks) and late preterm (34 to < 37 weeks). Maternal blood samples for measuring heavy metal concentrations were collected in T2 (pregnancy weeks: 14–39). The participants were classified into four quartiles (Q1–Q4) according to increasing heavy metal levels. Results: The rate of preterm birth was 4.5%. After controlling for confounding factors, such as age, pre-pregnancy body mass index, smoking, partner's smoking, drinking habits, gravidity, parity, number of cesarean deliveries, uterine infections, household income, educational levels, and sex of infant, Cd levels were found, by multivariable logistic regression analysis, to be significantly associated with early preterm birth (p = 0.002), with odds ratio for early preterm birth of 1.91 (95% confidence interval: 1.12–3.27, P = 0.018) in subjects of Q4 compared with in subjects with term birth (≧ 37 weeks). Conclusion: Maternal blood Cd levels during pregnancy are positively associated with the risk of early preterm birth among Japanese women. Identification of the main source of maternal Cd exposure may contribute to the prevention of early preterm births and health maintenance of mothers and their infants in the future.

AB - Background: Heavy metals are widely distributed in the environment. Recent reports have demonstrated the risk of preterm birth following heavy metal exposure. Preterm births are classified as early and late, depending on the duration of pregnancy, and are associated with increased risk of congenital illnesses such as heart failure, asthma, etc. Particularly, early preterm births carry a higher risk of mortality; however, the differential effects of heavy metal exposure on early and late preterm births are unknown. Objectives: To analyze the association between maternal whole blood concentrations of heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), selenium (Se), and manganese (Mn) that are common toxicants in Japan, and early and late preterm births. Methods: The data of 14,847 pregnant women who were participants of the Japan Environment and Children's Study were used. Data of the self-questionnaire pertaining to the first trimester (T1), second/third trimester (T2), and medical records after delivery were analyzed. We divided preterm birth into two groups: early preterm (22 to < 34 weeks) and late preterm (34 to < 37 weeks). Maternal blood samples for measuring heavy metal concentrations were collected in T2 (pregnancy weeks: 14–39). The participants were classified into four quartiles (Q1–Q4) according to increasing heavy metal levels. Results: The rate of preterm birth was 4.5%. After controlling for confounding factors, such as age, pre-pregnancy body mass index, smoking, partner's smoking, drinking habits, gravidity, parity, number of cesarean deliveries, uterine infections, household income, educational levels, and sex of infant, Cd levels were found, by multivariable logistic regression analysis, to be significantly associated with early preterm birth (p = 0.002), with odds ratio for early preterm birth of 1.91 (95% confidence interval: 1.12–3.27, P = 0.018) in subjects of Q4 compared with in subjects with term birth (≧ 37 weeks). Conclusion: Maternal blood Cd levels during pregnancy are positively associated with the risk of early preterm birth among Japanese women. Identification of the main source of maternal Cd exposure may contribute to the prevention of early preterm births and health maintenance of mothers and their infants in the future.

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