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Prenatal exposure to POP related with rapid weight gain and overweight in infancy

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Prenatal exposure to POP related with rapid weight gain and overweight in infancy

Researchers at the CREAL have found that prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has a relationship with rapid weight gain and overweight in infancy. This research was published in Obesity.

The objective of the study led by researchers at Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), research centre of the ISGlobal alliance, was to examine the effects of prenatal exposure to POPs on rapid growth in the first 6 months of life and overweight at 14 months of age.

The researchers found that prenatal exposure to the pesticides DDE and HCB may be associated with early postnatal growth. The analysis population included 1285 children from the Spanish INMA birth cohort study. Of those, 24% were rapid growers in the first 6 months of life and 30% were overweight at 14 months of age.

The POPs, DDE, HCB and PCBs were measured in maternal serum collected in the first trimester of pregnancy during 2003-2008. Infants in the highest quartile of DDE exposure had 32% more risk of being rapid growers and 39% more risk of being overweight compared to infants in the lowest quartile of exposure. Infants in the highest quartile of HCB exposure had 45% more risk for rapid growth and overweight than infants in the lowest quartile of exposure. There was some indication that infant sex and exclusive breastfeeding duration may modify the effects of DDE, and that maternal pre-pregnancy BMI status may influence the effects of HCB. PCBs were not related to postnatal growth.

The pesticides DDE and HCB were widely used in Spain and many other countries before the 80´s. Afterwards their use in Spain was restricted until it was banned by the Stockholm Convention (2004).

Reference: Valvi D, Mendez MA, Garcia-Esteban R, Ballester F, Ibarluzea J, Goñi F, Grimalt JO, Llop S, Marina LS, Vizcaino E, Sunyer J, Vrijheid M. Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants and rapid weight gain and overweight in infancy. Obesity (Silver Spring).
 


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