Exposure to chromium is increasing due to environmental pollution from industrial processes. Several epidemiological studies have investigated chromium exposure and reproductive outcomes, but few studies have investigated the association of chromium exposure and low birth weight (LBW). This study was designed to investigate whether maternal exposure to chromium during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of LBW. Chromium concentrations in maternal urine samples collected at delivery were measured in 204 LBW cases and 612 matched controls recruited between 2012 and 2014 in Hubei Province, China. Risk of LBW was associated with higher levels of chromium in maternal urine [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.77 for the medium tertile, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.95, 3.29; adjusted OR = 2.48 for the highest tertile, 95% CI: 1.33, 4.61; P trend = 0.01]. The association was more pronounced among female infants (adjusted OR = 3.67 for the highest tertile, 95% CI: 1.50, 8.97) than among male infants (adjusted OR = 1.22 for the highest tertile, 95% CI = 0.48, 3.11) (p heterogeneity = 0.06). Our findings suggest that maternal exposure to higher levels of chromium during pregnancy may potentially increase the risk of delivering LBW infants, particularly for female infants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis