Heavy metals and couple fecundity, the LIFE Study

Germaine M. Buck Louis, Rajeshwari Sundaram, Enrique F. Schisterman, Anne M. Sweeney, Courtney D. Lynch, Robert E. Gore-Langton, Zhen Chen, Sungduk Kim, Kathleen L. Caldwell, Dana Boyd Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of heavy metals at environmentally relevant concentrations on couple fecundity has received limited study despite ubiquitous exposure. In 2005-2009, couples (n=501) desiring pregnancy and discontinuing contraception were recruited and asked to complete interviews and to provide blood specimens for the quantification of cadmium (μgL -1), lead (μgdL -1) and mercury (μgL -1) using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Couples completed daily journals on lifestyle and intercourse along with menstruation and pregnancy testing for women. Couples were followed for 12months or until pregnant. Fecundability odds ratios (FORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated adjusting for age, body mass index, cotinine, and serum lipids in relation to female then male exposures. FORs

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1207
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cadmium
  • Fecundity
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Reproduction
  • Time-to-pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


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