Few studies have explored the consequences of environmental exposure to organochlorine pesticides for gestational hypertension (GH), preeclampsia (PE) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Chlordecone is a persistent organochlorine pesticide that was used intensively, and almost exclusively, in the French West Indies until 1993. We investigated the impact of prenatal exposure to chlordecone on the occurrence of GDM, GH and PE by studying 779 pregnant women enrolled in a prospective mother-child cohort (Timoun Study) in Guadeloupe between 2004 and 2007. Chlordecone exposure was determined by assaying maternal plasma and information about pregnancy complications was obtained from midwives, pediatricians and hospital medical records after delivery. The risks of GH (n=65), PE (n=31) and GDM (n=71) were estimated by multiple logistic regression including potential confounders. Levels of chlordecone plasma concentration in the third (OR=0.2; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.1, 0.5) and fourth quartiles (OR=0.3; 95% CI: 0.2, 0.7) were associated with a statistically significant decrease in the risk of GH. A log10 increase in chlordecone concentration was significantly associated with lower risk of GH (OR=0.4; 95% CI: 0.2, 0.6). No significant associations were observed between the chlordecone exposure and the risk of PE or GDM. This study suggests an inverse association between chlordecone exposure during pregnancy and GH. Further studies are required to determine the underlying mechanism, or the potential unknown confounding factors, resulting in this association.
Keywords: Chlordecone; Endocrine disruptor; Gestational diabetes; Gestational hypertension; Organochlorine pesticides; Preeclampsia.
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