Background: There is growing evidence of an association between cadmium (Cd) and unfavorable birth outcomes. The effect of Cd exposure on anthropometric measures at birth or small for gestational age (SGA) infants in a large, nationwide Japanese cohort remains to be clarified. Objectives: To analyze the association between maternal blood Cd levels at different sampling times and sex-dependent infant birth size, weight, body length, chest, and head circumferences, in addition to SGA. Methods: Data of 17,584 pregnant women in the Japan Environment and Children's Study were analyzed for anthropometric measurements. For SGA determination, 13,969 cases of vaginal delivery were analyzed after excluding infants born by cesarean section. Maternal blood Cd levels were categorized into quartiles (Q1–Q4), and the Q1 was used as a reference. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed for anthropometric measurements, and multiple logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association of maternal blood Cd levels with the risk of SGA. Results: Birth weight tended to decrease according to the increase in quartiles of blood Cd levels (15.63 g decrease [95% confidence level (CI): −33.26, 2.01] for Q4). The overall analysis revealed no decreases in body length and head and chest circumference, but subgroup analysis revealed that chest circumference tended to decrease according to the increase in quartiles in the female sex/third-trimester stratification (0.16 cm decrease [95% CI: −0.32, 0.00] for Q4). SGA risk was also higher and paralleled the increase in blood Cd levels associated with the female sex/third-trimester group (Odds Ratio 1.90 [95% CI: 1.23, 2.94] for Q4). Conclusion: Our results provide further evidence of sex-specific health risks associated with Cd exposure in early life in a large Japanese pregnancy cohort.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)