Effect of socioeconomic status on exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) among pregnant African-American women

Arch Environ Health. 2004 May;59(5):250-5. doi: 10.3200/AEOH.59.5.250-255.


In this study, the authors investigated the associations between socioeconomic status and exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) in a cohort of inner-city African-American pregnant women. Data for this study were derived from the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center subcohort of the National Collaborative Perinatal Project. African-American women from whom venous blood had been collected during their third trimester of pregnancy during the time period between 1960 and 1965 were included in the current study (n = 152). Prenatal samples were assayed for PCB and DDE concentrations. The authors used linear-regression analysis to explore the association between socioeconomic indicators and PCB and DDE concentrations. Mean concentrations of the 4 most abundant congeners (i.e., PCB4) and total DDE were 3.9 microg/l and 37.2 microg/l, respectively. In adjusted analyses, income was associated significantly with an increase in serum concentrations of PCBs, whereas education was not. Neither income nor education was associated with concentrations of DDE. The authors concluded that maternal socioeconomic indicators may influence the effects of exposure to PCBs among African-American pregnant women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / analysis*
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / blood
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / blood
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third / blood
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Class*
  • United States


  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls