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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/23080

Title: Fetal Thyroid Function, Birth Weight, and in Utero Exposure to Fine Particle Air Pollution: A Birth Cohort Study
Authors: Janssen, Bram
Saenen, Nelly
Roels, Harry
Madhloum, Narjes
Gyselaers, Wilfried
Lefebvre, Wouter
Penders, Joris
Vanpoucke, Charlotte
Vrijens, Karen
Nawrot, Tim
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Environmental health perspectives, 125 (4), pag. 699-705
Abstract: Background: Thyroid hormones are critical for fetal development and growth. Whether prenatal exposure to fine particle air pollution (PM2.5) affects fetal thyroid function and what the impact is on birth weight in normal healthy pregnancies is not studied yet. Objectives: To study the impact of third trimester PM2.5 exposure on fetal and maternal thyroid hormones and their mediating role on birth weight. Methods: We measured the levels of free thyroid hormones (FT3, FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in cord blood (n = 499) and maternal blood (n = 431) collected after delivery from mother-child pairs enrolled between February 2010 and June 2014 in the ENVIRONAGE birth cohort with catchment area in the province of Limburg, Belgium. Results: An interquartile range (IQR) increment (+8.2 µg/m3 ) in third trimester PM2.5 exposure was inversely associated with cord blood TSH levels (-11.6%; 95% CI: -21.8, -0.1) and the FT4/FT3 ratio (-62.7%; -91.6, -33.8). A 10th-90th percentile decrease in cord blood FT4 levels was associated with a 56 g decrease in mean birth weight (95% CI: -90, -23). Assuming causality, we estimated that cord blood FT4 mediated 21% (-19 g; 95%CI: -37, -1) of the estimated effect of an IQR increment in third trimester PM2.5 exposure on birth weight. Third trimester PM2.5 exposure was inversely but not significantly associated with maternal blood FT4 levels collected one day after delivery (-4.0%, 95% CI: -8.0, 0.2 for an IQR increment in third trimester PM2.5). Conclusions: In our study population of normal healthy pregnancies, third trimester exposure to PM2.5 air pollution was associated with differences in fetal thyroid hormone levels that may contribute to reduced birth weight. Additional research is needed to confirm our findings in other populations and to evaluate potential consequences later in life.
Notes: Nawrot, TS (reprint author), Hasselt Univ, Ctr Environm Sci, Agoralaan Gebouw D, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. tim.nawrot@uhasselt.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/23080
DOI: 10.1289/EHP508
ISI #: 000397904400033
ISSN: 0091-6765
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2018
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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