Demographic predictors of urinary arsenic in a low-income predominantly Hispanic pregnancy cohort in Los Angeles

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2020 Jul 27. doi: 10.1038/s41370-020-0251-1. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Arsenic (As) is a contaminant of top public health concern, due to its range of detrimental health effects. Arsenic exposure has not been well-characterized among the US Hispanic populations and has been particularly understudied in this population during pregnancy.

METHODS: As part of the MADRES ongoing pregnancy cohort of predominantly lower-income, Hispanic women in Los Angeles, CA, we examined levels of maternal first trimester urinary As, including total As and As metabolites (inorganic (iAs), monomethylated (MMA) and dimethylated As (DMA)), in relation to participant demographics, lifestyle characteristics, and rice/seafood consumption, to identify factors that may influence As exposure and its metabolites during pregnancy (N = 241).

RESULTS: Total As concentrations ranged from low to high (0.8-506.2 μg/L, mean: 9.0 μg/L, SD: 32.9) in our study population. Foreign-born Hispanic women had 8.6% higher %DMA (95% CI: 3.3%, 13.9%) and -7.7% lower %iAs (95% CI: -12.6%, -2.9%) than non-Hispanic women. A similar trend was observed for US-born Hispanic women. In addition, maternal age was associated with 0.4% higher %iAs (95% CI: 0.1%, 0.6%) and 0.4% lower %DMA (95% CI: -0.7%, -0.1%) per year, which may indicate poor As methylation capacity.

CONCLUSION: Individual factors may predict As exposure and metabolism in pregnancy, and in turn, greater risk of adverse health effects.

PMID:32719440 | DOI:10.1038/s41370-020-0251-1