Objectives Both PCB and DDE are lipophilic compounds which bio-accumulate in adipose tissue and cross the placental barrier. Prior studies of the association between prenatal exposure to PCB and DDE and child motor development have found contradicting results. The aim of this follow-up study was to examine the association between prenatal exposure to DDE and PCB and motor development and developmental milestones; crawling, standing-up and walking in children in Greenland, Ukraine and Poland.
Methods CB-153 and p,p’-DDE were measured in maternal blood in second or third trimester of pregnancy as a bio-marker of the child’s prenatal exposure to the compounds. A total of 1,103 children aged 5 to 9 years were followed up in 2010–2012. Motor development were measured in terms of the parentally assessed screening tool Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire 2007 (DCDQ’07) and developmental milestones were assessed via parental reports of child age at the first time of crawling, standing up and walking. The association between PCB/DDE and motor skills and milestones were analysed by means of linear multiple regression analyses using tertiles of exposure and stratified by country. Both complete case analyses and multiple imputation based analyses were executed. Adjustment were performed for the co-variates; maternal age, maternal smoking during pregnancy, maternal alcohol before pregnancy, maternal education, parity, gestational age at blood sampling, preterm birth, breastfeeding, child sex and child age at interview.
Results We found no associations between prenatal PCB and DDE exposure and developmental milestones or motor skills. Complete case- and multiple imputation based analyses showed adjusted mean differences in motor skills and age at milestones around null, in all three countries.
Conclusions These results on 1.103 mother-children-pairs from the INUENDO cohort in Greenland, Warsaw (Poland) and Kharkiv (Ukraine), indicate no association between in utero PCB/DDE exposure and developmental milestones and motor skills.
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