In utero cadmium exposure tied to decreased birth weight

  • Huang S & al.
  • Environ Pollut
  • 1 Aug 2019

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • This meta-analysis suggests that elevated levels of cadmium (Cd) in maternal blood (BCd) and urine (UCd) are associated with decreased birth weight and an increased risk for low birth weight (LBW).
  • This association was more pronounced in female newborns than in male newborns.

Why this matters

  • Findings from the study have important implications for protecting women and children in Cd-contaminated areas.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 11 studies (10 birth cohorts and 1 cross-sectional study) evaluated the association between prenatal Cd exposure and birth weight.
  • Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China, Nanchang University and others.

Key results

  • A 50% increase of maternal UCd and BCd levels was associated with a decrease in neonatal birth weight by 6.15 g (β=−6.15 g; 95% CI, −10.81 to −1.49; I2=0%; P=.507) and 11.57 g (β=−11.57 g; 95% CI, −18.85 to −4.30; I2=52.6%; P=.077), respectively.
  • Based on sex, the results for female newborns were significant (β=−8.92 g; 95% CI, −17.51 to −0.34; I2=26.7%) compared with that for male newborns (β=−4.42; 95% CI, −13.18 to −4.33; I2=0%).
  • Cd levels from the first trimester (β=−11.34 g; 95% CI, −19.54 to −3.14; I2=0%) vs that from the second and third trimesters were statistically associated with decreasing birth weight.
  • Increased UCd vs BCd levels were associated with a higher rate of LBW risk (OR=1.12; 95% CI, 1.03-1.22; I2= 6.9% vs OR=1.13; 95% CI, 0.74-1.72; I2=0).

Limitations

  • Limited number of studies included.