Background: The intensive use of chlordecone (an organochlorine insecticide) in the French West Indies until 1993 resulted in a long-term soil and water contamination. Chlordecone has known hormonal properties and exposure through contaminated food during critical periods of development (gestation and early infancy) may affect growth.
Objectives: We aimed to assess the impact of prenatal and postnatal exposure to chlordecone on the growth of children from the TIMOUN mother-child cohort.
Methods: Chlordecone was determined in cord plasma at birth (N=222) and in breast milk samples (at 3 months). Dietary chlordecone intake was estimated at 7 and 18 months, with food-frequency questionnaires and food-specific contamination data. Anthropometric measurements were taken at the 3-, 7- and 18-month visits and measurements reported in the infants' health records were noted. Structured Jenss-Bayley growth models were fitted to individual height and weight growth trajectories. The impact of exposure on growth curve parameters was estimated directly with adjusted mixed non-linear models. Weight, height and body mass index (BMI), and instantaneous height and weight growth velocities at specific ages were also analyzed relative to exposure.
Results: Chlordecone in cord blood was associated with a higher BMI in boys at 3 months, due to greater weight and lower height, and in girls at 8 and 18 months, mostly due to lower height. Postnatal exposure was associated with lower height, weight and BMI at 3, 8 and 18 months, particularly in girls.
Conclusion: Chlordecone exposure may affect growth trajectories in children aged 0 to 18 months.
Keywords: Chlordecone; Growth modeling; Infant growth; Organochlorine pesticide; Prenatal exposure.
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