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Impact of Perinatal Dioxin Exposure on Infant Growth: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Studies in Dioxin-Contaminated Areas in Vietnam
Published: Monday, July 16, 2012
Author: Muneko Nishijo et al.

by Muneko Nishijo, Pham The Tai, Hideaki Nakagawa, Shoko Maruzeni, Nguyen Thi Nguyet Anh, Hoang Van Luong, Tran Hai Anh, Ryumon Honda, Yuko Morikawa, Teruhiko Kido, Hisao Nishijo

Dioxin exposure levels remain elevated in residents living around former US Air Force bases in Vietnam, indicating potential adverse impacts on infant growth. In this study, 210 mother–infant pairs in dioxin-contaminated areas in Vietnam were recruited at the infants’ birth and followed up for 4 months. Perinatal dioxin exposure levels were estimated by measurement of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans toxic equivalent (PCDDs/Fs-TEQ) in breast milk. The infants’ size was measured at birth and 1 and 4 months after birth, and neurodevelopment was evaluated using the Bayley Scales III at 4 months of age. Among 4 dioxin groups (<25, 25–50, 50–75, =75 percentile of PCDDs/Fs-TEQ), cross-sectional comparisons of body size and neurodevelopment scales and comparisons of longitudinally assessed body size were performed respectively. At birth, head circumference of girls in the =75 percentile group was significantly larger than those in the <25 and 50–75 percentile groups. At 4 months of age, the weight and body mass index (BMI) of boys in the =75 percentile group were significantly lower than those in the other groups. Increase in weight was significantly lower in the =75 percentile group in both sexes from birth to 1 month but only in boys at 1–4 months of age. Estimated marginal mean values in a mixed model of weight and BMI during the first 4 months of life were significantly lower in the =75 percentile group in boys. In girls, marginal mean values for head circumference were increased with increase in dioxin levels. Only in boys, cognitive, language, and fine motor scores in the =75 percentile group were significantly lower than those in the other groups. These results suggested a considerable impact of perinatal dioxin exposure on infant growth, particularly in boys exposed to dioxins at high level of PCDDs/Fs-TEQ.
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