Fetal heart rate and motor activity associations with maternal organochlorine levels: Results of an exploratory study

Janet A. Dipietro, Meghan F. Davis, Kathleen A. Costigan, Dana Boyd Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Contemporaneous associations between circulating maternal organochlorines (OCs) and measures of fetal heart rate and motor activity were evaluated. A panel of 47 OCs, including pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), was analyzed from serum of 50 pregnant women at 36 weeks gestation. Data were empirically reduced into four factors and six individual compounds. All participants had detectable concentrations of at least one-quarter of the assayed OCs and, in general, higher socioeconomic level was associated with higher OC concentrations. Fetal heart rate measures were not consistently associated with maternal OCs. In contrast, one or more indicators of greater fetal motor activity were significantly associated with higher levels of the DDT and low chlorinated OC factors and five of the six individual compounds (heptachlor epoxide, trans nonachlor, oxychlordane, and PCBs 18 and 52). This preliminary demonstration of associations between fetal motor activity and maternal concentrations of persistent and pervasive environmental contaminants suggests that fetal assessment may be useful in ascertaining the potential early effects of these compounds on development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-481
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • PCBs
  • fetus
  • motor activity
  • neurodevelopment
  • organochlorine
  • pesticides
  • prenatal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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