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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(7), 2811-2821; doi:10.3390/ijerph7072811
Article

Association between Chronic Arsenic Exposure and Nutritional Status among the Women of Child Bearing Age: A Case-Control Study in Bangladesh

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Received: 14 May 2010 / Revised: 13 June 2010 / Accepted: 30 June 2010 / Published: 2 July 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition and Public Health)
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Abstract

The role of nutritional factors in arsenic metabolism and toxicity is yet to be fully elucidated. A low protein diet results in decreased excretion of DMA and increased tissue retention of arsenic in experimental studies. Malnourished women carry a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Chronic exposure to high arsenic (>50 µg/L) through drinking water also increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. The synergistic effects (if any) of malnutrition and chronic arsenic exposure may worsen the adverse pregnancy outcomes. This population based case control study reports the association between chronic arsenic exposure and nutritional status among the rural women in Bangladesh. 348 cases (BMI < 18.5) and 360 controls (BMI 18.5–24.99) were recruited from a baseline survey conducted among 2,341 women. An excess risk for malnutrition was observed among the participants chronically exposed to higher concentrations of arsenic in drinking water after adjusting for potential confounders such as participant’s age, religion, education, monthly household income and history of oral contraceptive pills. Women exposed to arsenic >50 µg/L were at 1.9 times (Odds Ratio = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.1–3.6) increased risk of malnutrition compared to unexposed. The findings of this study suggest that chronic arsenic exposure is likely to contribute to poor nutritional status among women of 20–45 years.
Keywords: arsenic; nutritional status; reproductive aged women arsenic; nutritional status; reproductive aged women
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.

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Milton, A.H.; Shahidullah, S.M.; Smith, W.; Hossain, K.S.; Hasan, Z.; Ahmed, K.T. Association between Chronic Arsenic Exposure and Nutritional Status among the Women of Child Bearing Age: A Case-Control Study in Bangladesh. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 2811-2821.

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