Prenatal exposure to BPA associated with pediatric wheeze


Diminished lung capacity and development of persistent wheeze in children were associated with prenatal but not postnatal exposure to bisphenol A, according to recent study data.

Adam Spanier, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAP, associate professor of pediatrics and behavioral pediatrics medical director, University of Maryland Midtown Campus, and colleagues studied 398 pregnant women between March 2003 and January 2006 in the Cincinnati area who were aged 18 years or older, were at 16 weeks’ gestation and lived in a home built before 1979. The women were tracked through , and children were tracked through age 5 years. Gestational and child bisphenol A () exposure were assessed through maternal urine samples during pregnancy at 16 and 26 weeks and child urine samples annually.

Main outcomes included parent-reported wheeze every 6 months for 5 years, and child FEV1 measured at ages 4 and 5 years. Associations of BPA exposure with respiratory outcomes (FEV1, child wheeze and wheeze phenotype) were studied.

Data for maternal urinary BPA concentrations and FEV1, assessed for 208 children, showed a mean range of 0.53 to 293.55 mcg/g creatinine (geometric mean, 2.4; 95% CI, 2.1-2.7 mcg/g creatinine). Urinary BPA concentrations and parent-reported wheeze results, available for 360 children, ranged from 15.9% (at 30 months) to 24.1% (at 12 months).

“In multivariable analysis, every 10-fold increase in the mean maternal urinary BPA concentration was associated with a 14.2% (95% CI, –24.5% to –3.9%) decrease in the percentage of predicted FEV1 at 4 years, but no association was found at 5 years,” the researchers wrote. “Every 10-fold increase in the mean maternal urinary BPA concentration was marginally associated with a 54.8% increase in the odds of (adjusted OR=1.55; 95% CI, 0.91-2.63).”

There was a 10-fold increase in 16-week maternal urinary BPA concentration associated with an increase in persistent wheeze odds (aOR=4.27; 95% CI, 1.37-13.3). No association, however, existed between the mean maternal urinary BPA concentration and wheeze phenotype.

There were no associations between child urinary PBA concentrations and FEV1 or wheeze.

“If future studies confirm that prenatal PBA exposure may be a risk factor for impaired respiratory health, it may offer another avenue to prevent development of asthma,” the researchers concluded.


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