A pilot study on the association between rare earth elements in maternal hair and the risk of neural tube defects in north China.
Sommaire de l'article
Rare earth elements (REEs) have many applications in industry, agriculture, and medicine, resulting in occupational and environmental exposure and concerns regarding REE-associated health effects. However, few epidemiological studies have examined the adverse effects of REEs on pregnancy outcomes. Therefore, this study examined the relationship between the REE concentrations in maternal hair growing during early pregnancy and the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. We included 191 women with NTD-affected pregnancies (cases) and 261 women delivering healthy infants (controls). The cases were divided into three subtypes: anencephaly, spina bifida, and encephalocele. Four REEs in maternal hair were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry: lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), praseodymium (Pr), and neodymium (Nd). A questionnaire was used to collect information about maternal sociodemographic characteristics and dietary habits. The median concentrations of Ce and Pr in the NTD group were higher than those in the control group, whereas there were no significant differences for La and Nd. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for the four REE concentrations above the median in the case groups were not significantly > 1. An increasing frequency of the consumption of beans or bean products and fresh fruit was negatively correlated with the four REE concentrations. Our results did not suggest that the concentrations of REEs in maternal hair were associated with the risk of NTDs or any subtype of NTDs in the general population.