A prospective study of birthweight and length of gestation in a population surrounding a lead smelter in Kosovo, Yugoslavia

Pam Factor-litvak, Joseph H. Graziano, Jennie K. Kline, Dusan Popovac, Ali Mehmeti, Gemail Ahmedi, Patrick Shrout, Mary J. Murphy, Emine Gashi, Radmila Haxhiu, Ljubica Rajovic, Dragoslav U. Nenezic, Zean A. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper tests the hypothesis that exposure to lead during pregnancy is associated with reduced intrauterine growth and an increase in preterm delivery. The sample comprises women, recruited at mid-pregnancy, residing in Titova Mitrovica, a lead smelter town, or in Pristina, a non-exposed town 25 miles away. Both towns are in the province of Kosovo, Yugoslavia. Mean blood lead concentrations (BPb's) at mid-pregnancy were 0.92 μmol/L (±0.38, N=401) in the exposed town and 0.27 μmol/L (±0.09, N=506) in the comparison town.No differences were found between towns for either birthweight or length of gestation. Mean birthweight was 3308 (±566) grams in Titova Mitrovica and 3361 (±525) grams in Pristina. Mean length of gestation was 274 (±18.8) days in Titova Mitrovica and 275 (±15.6) days in Pristina. After adjustment for the effects of potential confounders, no significant relationships were found between maternal BPb measured at mid-pregnancy, at delivery or in the umbilical cord and either birthweight, length of gestation, or preterm delivery (<37 weeks).We conclude that exposure to environmental lead does not impair fetal growth or influence length of gestation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-728
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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