Associations of metal mixtures in the meconium with birth outcomes in northern Taiwan

Chi Sian Kao, Ling Chu Chien, Chun Hua Fan, Hung Chang Lee, Chuen Bin Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous studies investigated prenatal exposure to neurotoxic metals in relation to birth anthropometrics. However, limited information has been developed on associations with birth outcomes of fetal exposure to metal mixtures using the meconium as a biomarker. The purpose of this study was to evaluate relationships of the combined effects of mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and arsenic (As) concentrations in the meconium on birth outcomes (i.e., birth weight, birth length, and head circumference). This cross-sectional study was conducted in northern Taiwan between January 2007 and December 2009. We collected 526 meconium samples within the first 24 h after birth to measure the in utero mixed-metal exposure determined using inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). We used a multivariable regression and Bayesian kernel machine regression (BKMR) to estimate associations of the combined effects and identify important mixture components with growth impairments. Our results revealed Hg, Pb, Cd, and As concentrations in the meconium and enhanced the quantity of research on meconium analyses. The overall effects of Hg, Pb, Cd, and As concentrations in the meconium as prenatal exposure biomarkers were negatively associated with birth growth. Fetal exposure to Hg and Pb was correlated with decreased birth weights. Hg and Pb concentrations in the meconium were linearly inversely related to the birth weight, birth length, and head circumference. Effects of fetal exposure to As and Cd on birth outcomes were not obvious. A significant increasing relationship was detected between Hg concentrations in the meconium and maternal fish consumption during pregnancy. Higher Pb concentrations in the meconium were observed among infants of mothers who consumed Chinese herbal medicines. Reducing maternal fish consumption and Chinese herbal medicine consumption during pregnancy could limit infant exposure to metals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114092
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Volume248
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Bayesian kernel machine regression
  • Birth outcome
  • Fetal exposure
  • Meconium
  • Metal mixture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Associations of metal mixtures in the meconium with birth outcomes in northern Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this