Phthalate Levels in Cord Blood Are Associated With Preterm Delivery and Fetal Growth Parameters in Chinese Women

PLoS One. 2014 Feb 4;9(2):e87430. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087430. eCollection 2014.


Data concerning the effects of phthalate exposure on preterm delivery and fetal growth are limited in humans. In this paper, we assessed the relationship between 15 phthalate levels in cord blood and preterm delivery and fetal growth parameters in 207 Chinese women going into labor. Exposure to phthalates except DCHP was associated with gestational age reduction and preterm delivery (p<0.05). There were associations between phthalates and fetal growth parameters, many of which disappeared when analyses were adjusted for gestational age, especially in male infants (Only DEEP was associated with birth weight; DEP, DNHP, BBP, DNP with abdominal circumference; DEP, DBP, DCHP, DEHP with femur length in female infants. And DPP, DBEP was associated with birth length in male infants. p<0.05). This study indicates that prenatal exposure to phthalates is associated with younger gestational age and preterm delivery. Also, phthalate exposure may adversely affect fetal growth parameters via gestational age reduction and preterm delivery with a significant gender effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Birth Weight
  • China
  • Esters / blood
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism*
  • Fetal Development*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Phthalic Acids / blood*
  • Pregnant Women
  • Premature Birth / blood*


  • Esters
  • Phthalic Acids
  • phthalic acid

Grant support

This project was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81072262 and 81372944). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.