Thallium (Tl) is a well-recognized hazardous toxic heavy metal that has been reported to have embryotoxicity and fetotoxicity. However, little is known about its association with preterm birth (PTB) in humans. We aimed to evaluate the predictors of Tl exposure and assessed its relation with PTB. The study population included 7173 mother-infant pairs from a birth cohort in Wuhan, China. Predictors of Tl concentrations were explored using linear regression analyses, and associations of Tl exposure with risk of PTB or gestational age at birth were estimated using logistic regression or generalized linear models. The geometric mean and median values of urinary Tl concentrations were 0.28 μg/L (0.55 μg/g creatinine) and 0.29 μg/L (0.53 μg/g creatinine). We found that maternal urinary Tl concentrations varied by gestational weight gain, educational attainment, multivitamin and iron supplementations. Women with Tl concentrations higher than 0.80 μg/g creatinine were at higher risk of giving birth prematurely versus those with Tl concentrations lower than 0.36 μg/g creatinine [adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval (CI)): 1.55 (1.05, 2.27)], and the association was more pronounced in PTB with premature rupture of membranes (PROM) rather than in PTB without PROM. About 3-fold increase in creatinine-corrected Tl concentrations were associated with 0.99-day decrease in gestational length (95% CI: −1.36, −0.63). This is the first report on the associations between maternal Tl exposure and the risk of PTB.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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