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Prenatal Heavy Metal Exposure and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Myanmar: A Birth-Cohort Study

Department of Human Ecology, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 113-0033, Japan
Department of Physiology, University of Medicine 1, Yangon 130404, Myanmar
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Forest Research and Management Organization, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1339;
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 22 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
PDF [497 KB, uploaded 3 November 2017]


Arsenic, cadmium and lead are well-known environmental contaminants, and their toxicity at low concentration is the target of scientific concern. In this study, we aimed to identify the potential effects of prenatal heavy metal exposure on the birth outcomes among the Myanmar population. This study is part of a birth-cohort study conducted with 419 pregnant women in the Ayeyarwady Division, Myanmar. Face-to-face interviews were performed using a questionnaire, and maternal spot urine samples were collected at the third trimester. Birth outcomes were evaluated at delivery during the follow up. The median values of adjusted urinary arsenic, cadmium, selenium and lead concentration were 74.2, 0.9, 22.6 and 1.8 μg/g creatinine, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression revealed that prenatal cadmium exposure (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.10; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.21; p = 0.043), gestational age (adjusted OR = 0.83; 95% CI: 0.72–0.95; p = 0.009) and primigravida mothers (adjusted OR = 4.23; 95% CI: 1.31–13.65; p = 0.016) were the predictors of low birth weight. The present study identified that Myanmar mothers were highly exposed to cadmium. Prenatal maternal cadmium exposure was associated with an occurrence of low birth weight. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metal; cadmium; maternal health; birth outcomes; Myanmar heavy metal; cadmium; maternal health; birth outcomes; Myanmar

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Wai, K.M.; Mar, O.; Kosaka, S.; Umemura, M.; Watanabe, C. Prenatal Heavy Metal Exposure and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Myanmar: A Birth-Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1339.

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