Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2019 Apr;222(3):395-401. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2018.12.005. Epub 2019 Jan 28.
BACKGROUND: Higher birth weight is an important adverse outcome associated with hyperglycemia in pregnancy. Recent studies suggest that phthalate exposure is associated with elevated glucose levels in pregnant women, with implications for higher birth weight in the offspring. No study to date has investigated the association between prenatal phthalate exposure on infant high birth weight accounting for the range of pregnancy glucose levels.
METHODS: A total of 350 women participating in an ongoing pregnancy cohort had data available on urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations at up to four time points across pregnancy. Urinary phthalate metabolites were averaged across pregnancy and log-transformed, specific gravity-adjusted and analyzed in quartiles. Birth weight was examined continuously (in grams), as well as dichotomized as large for gestational age (>90th percentile). Glucose levels were assessed based on Results from 50-g glucose challenge tests as a part of screening for gestational diabetes conducted at 24-28 weeks gestation, and grouped into 3 categories <120 mg/dL, 120-<140 mg/dL and ≥140 mg/dL. Multivariable linear regression was performed, adjusting for potential confounders in the overall population and stratified by pregnancy glucose levels.
RESULTS: Approximately 20% of infants born to women with glucose levels ≥140 mg/dL were large for gestational age. Average mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) concentrations were higher among women who had glucose levels ≥140 mg/dL (geometric mean 140.9 μg/L; 95% CI: 91.6-216.8); however, higher MEP concentrations were not associated with higher birth weight. When stratified by maternal glucose levels, there was a suggestive association between higher concentrations of mono-(3-carboxypropyl) phthalate (MCPP) and higher birth weight among women with glucose levels ≥140 mg/dL (adj. birth weight: 569.2 g; 95% CI: 14.1, 1178.2).
CONCLUSIONS: Higher urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations were not significantly associated with higher birth weight. Counter to our hypothesis, women with higher glucose levels and higher urinary phthalate metabolites did not deliver babies with higher birth weight.