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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 388; doi:10.3390/ijerph14040388

Low-Level Toxic Metal Exposure in Healthy Weaning-Age Infants: Association with Growth, Dietary Intake, and Iron Deficiency

1
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
2
Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
3
Department of Pediatrics, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul 07061, Korea
4
Department of Pediatrics, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon 24289, Korea
5
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
6
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul 07061, Korea
7
Department of Medical Statistics, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul 07061, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 26 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [305 KB, uploaded 12 April 2017]

Abstract

Even low levels of toxic metal exposure (As, Cd, Hg, and Pb) in infancy might be harmful to children’s development. This study investigated toxic metal exposure on healthy weaning-age infants and its relationship with growth, diet, and iron/anemia status. The weight, height, head circumference, whole blood levels of four toxic metals, hemoglobin, and serum ferritin of healthy infants was measured. Among 210 infants with a median age of 11.4 months (interquartile range: 10.5–12.0), the median levels of As, Cd, Hg, and Pb were 1.2 μg/L, 0.05 μg/L, 0.8 μg/L, and 0.83 μg/dL, respectively. In adjusted linear regression models, post-birth weight gain (Pb) and current head circumference (As, Pb) were negatively associated with toxic metal levels. In multiple linear regression or logistic regression analysis, the duration of breastfeeding (all four metals), perceived adequacy of rice-based food intake (As), regular fish intake (As, Hg), and iron deficiency with/without anemia (Cd, Pb) were associated with increased toxic metal levels. Although levels of toxic metals may not usually be high in this population, individual exposure risk may need to be assessed after considering the type of feeding or intake of complementary foods and the iron/anemia status while evaluating growth status during late infancy. View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenic; cadmium; mercury; lead; infant; breast-feeding; diet; iron deficiency; growth; head circumference arsenic; cadmium; mercury; lead; infant; breast-feeding; diet; iron deficiency; growth; head circumference
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Choi, J.; Chang, J.Y.; Hong, J.; Shin, S.; Park, J.S.; Oh, S. Low-Level Toxic Metal Exposure in Healthy Weaning-Age Infants: Association with Growth, Dietary Intake, and Iron Deficiency. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 388.

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