Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants and rapid weight gain and overweight in infancy

Authors

  • Damaskini Valvi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Hospital de Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain
    3. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    4. Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona, Spain
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  • Michelle Ann Mendez,

    1. Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North, Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
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  • Raquel Garcia-Esteban,

    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Hospital de Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain
    3. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
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  • Ferran Ballester,

    1. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Centre for Public Health Research (CSISP-FISABIO), Valencia, Spain
    3. School of Nursing, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
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  • Jesús Ibarluzea,

    1. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, Basque Government, Gipuzkoa, Spain
    3. Donostia Biomedical Research Institute (BIODONOSTIA), Gipuzkoa, Spain
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  • Fernando Goñi,

    1. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Donostia Biomedical Research Institute (BIODONOSTIA), Gipuzkoa, Spain
    3. Public Health Laboratory of Gipuzkoa, Gipuzkoa, Spain
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  • Joan O. Grimalt,

    1. Department of Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDÆA-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain
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  • Sabrina Llop,

    1. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Centre for Public Health Research (CSISP-FISABIO), Valencia, Spain
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  • Loreto Santa Marina,

    1. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, Basque Government, Gipuzkoa, Spain
    3. Donostia Biomedical Research Institute (BIODONOSTIA), Gipuzkoa, Spain
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  • Esther Vizcaino,

    1. Department of Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDÆA-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
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  • Jordi Sunyer,

    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Hospital de Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain
    3. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
    4. Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona, Spain
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  • Martine Vrijheid

    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain
    2. Hospital de Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain
    3. CIBER Epidemiologia y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
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  • Funding agencies: This research was funded by grants from the RecerCaixa (Register number: 2010ACUP00349), the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (predoctoral grant PFIS FI10/00399, Red INMA G03/176, CB06/02/0041, FIS-PI06/0867, FIS-PS09/00090, FIS-FEDER 03/1615, 04/1509, 04/1112, 04/1931, 05/1079, 05/1052, 06/1213, 07/0314, 09/02647, 11/02591), the Spanish Ministry of Health (FIS-PI041436, FIS-PI081151), the Generalitat de Catalunya-CIRIT 1999SGR 00241, the Department of Health of the Basque Government (2005111093 and 2009111069), the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa (DFG06/004 and DFG08/001), the Conselleria de Sanitat Generalitat Valenciana and the Fundación Roger Torné.

  • Disclosures: Nothing to report. Full financial disclosure and author notes may be found in the online version of this article.

Abstract

Objective

To examine the effects of prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on rapid growth in the first 6 months of life and overweight at 14 months of age.

Design and Methods

In a Spanish birth cohort study, the POPs dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs—congeners 153, 138, 180) were measured in maternal serum collected in the first trimester of pregnancy during 2003–2008. Rapid growth was defined as a z-score weight gain >0.67 SD between 6 months of age and birth. Overweight at 14 months was defined as a BMI z-score ≥85th percentile. Generalized linear models examined the association between POPs and rapid growth (N = 1285) and overweight (N = 1198).

Results

The analysis population included 24% rapid growers and 30% overweight infants. DDE and HCB were positively associated with rapid growth and with overweight. There was some indication that infant sex and exclusive breastfeeding duration may modify the effects of DDE, and that maternal prepregnancy BMI status may influence the effects of HCB. PCBs were not related to postnatal growth.

Conclusion

Prenatal exposure to DDE and HCB may be associated with early postnatal growth. Further research is needed to evaluate the persistence of these associations at older ages.

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