Maternal diet during pregnancy and blood cadmium concentrations in an observational cohort of British women

Caroline M Taylor, Rita Doerner, Kate Northstone, Katarzyna Kordas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Few studies have investigated the extent to which diet predicts body Cd concentrations among women of reproductive age, and pregnant women in particular. The aim of this study was to examine diet as a predictor of blood Cd concentrations in pregnant women participating in the UK Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Whole blood samples were analysed for Cd (median 0.26 (IQR 0.14–0.54) µg/l). Dietary pattern scores were derived from principal components analysis of data from a food frequency questionnaire. Associations between dietary pattern scores and foods/food groups with blood Cd ≥ median value were identified using adjusted logistic regression (n=2169 complete cases). A health conscious dietary pattern was associated with a reduced likelihood of B-Cd ≥0.26 µg/l (OR 0.56 (95% CI 0.39-0.81)). There were similarly reduced likelihoods for all leafy green and green vegetables (0.72 (0.56-0.92) when consumed ≥4 times/week vs ≤1 to ≥3 times/ week) and with all meats (0.66 (0.46-0.95) when consumed ≥4 times/week vs ≤once in 2 weeks). Sensitivity analysis excluding smokers showed similar results. The evidence from this study provides continued support for a healthy and varied diet in pregnancy, incorporating foods from all food groups in accordance with national recommendations, without the need for specific guidance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number904
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2020

Structured keywords



  • diet
  • dietary patterns
  • blood cadmium
  • pregnancy


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