Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption in the relation to blood lead levels in pregnant women in the UK: the ALSPAC study

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Abstract

Aims: The and behaviour and academic performance of children can be adversely affected even by low blood lead levels (BLL) of 5–10 µg/dl. The contribution to the infant’s lead load by maternal transfer during pregnancy is likely to be significant. Our aim was to determine BLL in a large cohort of pregnant women in the UK and to identify the factors that contribute to BLL in pregnant women.
Methods: Pregnant women resident in the Avon area of the UK were enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Whole blood samples (n=4472) were collected and analysed by inductively coupled plasma dynamic reaction cell mass spectrometry. Self-completion postal questionnaires were used to collect data on lifestyle, diet and environmental factors during pregnancy. Statistical analysis was carried out with SPSS v18.
Results: The mean BLL was 3.67±1.47 (median 3.41, range 0.41–19.14) µg/dl. Alcohol and coffee consumption, and cigarette smoking, were found to be among the main predictors of BLL in a backwards linear multiple regression model (p<0.001, p=0.002 and p<0.001, respectively).
Conclusions: The mean BLL in this group of pregnant women is higher than has been found in similar populations in developed countries. The main factors identified as significant predictors of BLL could be modified during pregnancy to reduce the transfer of lead to the fetus in utero. These findings reinforce existing public health messages on the harmful effects of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDOHaD Satellite Conference, 6-7 December 2012, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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