Girl or boy? Prenatal lead, cadmium and mercury exposure and the secondary sex ratio in the ALSPAC study

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of prenatal exposure to lead, cadmium and mercury levels on the secondary sex ratio. Whole blood samples were collected from pregnant women enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) study at a median gestational age of 11 weeks and were analyzed for lead, cadmium and mercury. Regression analysis was used to identify associations between maternal lead, cadmium and mercury levels and the secondary sex ratio with adjustment for confounders. There was no evidence for associations between maternal lead, cadmium or mercury levels and the secondary sex ratio in this sample. It appears unlikely that alterations in the secondary sex ratio are influenced by exposure to heavy metals, but further work should be done in large cohorts in other countries to confirm these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Volume46
Early online date1 Apr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Secondary sex ratio
  • ALSPAC

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