Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may be associated with obesogenic effects in offspring. Our study is the first to investigate associations between concentrations of POPs from newborn dried blood spots (DBS) and birth characteristics.
Concentrations of 10 polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ether-47 (PBDE-47), and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) were measured from DBSs collected at birth from 2,065 singleton infants. DBS samples were pooled in groups of five and assayed together to reach limits of detection. Differences in risk of large for gestational age (LGA, defined as >90th percentile of birth weight for sex and gestational age), small for gestational age (SGA, <10th), and preterm birth (gestational age <37 weeks) were estimated using logistic regression per unit (ng/ml) increase in concentration of each chemical, adjusting for individual-level covariates, including maternal age, race/ethnicity, prepregnancy BMI, education, parity, smoking, and infant sex while assuming a gamma distribution and using multiple imputation to account for pools.
There were 215 (11.3%) singletons born LGA, 158 (7.5%) born SGA, and 157 (7.6%) born preterm. Higher concentrations of POPs were positively associated with slightly higher risk of LGA and higher birth weight.
Relationships between POPs measured in newborn DBS and birth size were mixed. Pooled analysis methods using DBS could address challenges in limits of detection and costs for population-based research.