A case-control study of maternal exposure to chromium and infant low birth weight in China

Wei Xia, Jie Hu, Bin Zhang, Yuanyuan Li, John Pierce Wise, Bryan A. Bassig, Aifen Zhou, David A. Savitz, Chao Xiong, Jinzhu Zhao, Xiaofu du, Yanqiu Zhou, Xinyun Pan, Jie Yang, Chuansha Wu, Minmin Jiang, Yang Peng, Zhengmin Qian, Tongzhang Zheng, Shunqing Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Exposure to chromium is increasing due to environmental pollution from industrial processes. Several epidemiological studies have investigated chromium exposure and reproductive outcomes, but few studies have investigated the association of chromium exposure and low birth weight (LBW). This study was designed to investigate whether maternal exposure to chromium during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of LBW. Chromium concentrations in maternal urine samples collected at delivery were measured in 204 LBW cases and 612 matched controls recruited between 2012 and 2014 in Hubei Province, China. Risk of LBW was associated with higher levels of chromium in maternal urine [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.77 for the medium tertile, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.95, 3.29; adjusted OR = 2.48 for the highest tertile, 95% CI: 1.33, 4.61; P trend = 0.01]. The association was more pronounced among female infants (adjusted OR = 3.67 for the highest tertile, 95% CI: 1.50, 8.97) than among male infants (adjusted OR = 1.22 for the highest tertile, 95% CI = 0.48, 3.11) (p heterogeneity = 0.06). Our findings suggest that maternal exposure to higher levels of chromium during pregnancy may potentially increase the risk of delivering LBW infants, particularly for female infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1484-1489
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • General Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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