Serum concentrations of select biochemical indicators of diet and nutrition and persistent organic pollutants among pregnant women in Trujillo, Peru, 2004–2005
Horton, David Kevin
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Pregnancy is a period of increased metabolic demands, mainly due to extensive changes in a woman’s physiology and the requirements of a growing fetus. Biological monitoring is an important screening tool to measure physiological and biochemical changes during pregnancy. OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study was to quantify maternal and cord serum concentrations of 18 biochemical indicators of diet and nutrition and 55 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) among a cohort of 78–79 pregnant women, respectively, from Trujillo, Peru during 2004–2005. Secondary objectives included examining select demographic characteristics (e.g., socioeconomic status [SES], education, and age) to assess their association with analytes and to compare Peruvian maternal levels with those of pregnant US women. Nutritional indicator classes included fat-soluble vitamins, carotenoids, iron-status indicators, and a trace element, while POP classes included organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). METHODS: Antecubital venous blood samples were collected during trimester one, two, three and at term via the umbilical cord and serum was prepared. Questionnaires were completed to determine demographic characteristics. Linear mixed-effects models were used to study the relationships between each maternal analyte and the specified demographic characteristics. RESULTS: The average participant was a 26 year old secondary-school-educated woman of low SES. Vitamin E (as alpha-tocopherol), lutein-zeaxanthin, and unbound iron-binding capacity were the most abundant maternal nutritional indicators detected, while p,p’-DDE and PCB 180 were the most abundant POPs detected. Statistically significant changes (p≤0.05) during pregnancy were noted for 93.8% of maternal biochemical indicators and 84.2% of lipid-adjusted POP analytes. Overall, cord serum concentrations were significantly lower than maternal serum concentrations for both nutritional indicators and POPs samples. Education status and age appeared to be significantly associated with nutritional and POP serum concentrations, while SES, fuel type, and residential location had little-to-no association. Overall, this Peruvian cohort tended to have significantly lower nutritional concentrations and significantly higher POP concentrations in comparison to pregnant US women. CONCLUSIONS: Serum concentrations of nutritional indicators and POPs for these pregnant Peruvian women changed significantly throughout pregnancy and at term. Additionally, significant concentrations of these analytes are being transferred to newborns via the placenta.