Background: Triclosan is a phenolic biocide used in a multitude of consumer products and in health care settings. It is widely detected in the American and Canadian populations and has been shown in animal models to act as an endocrine disrupting agent. However, there has been little examination to date of the effects of triclosan exposure in pregnancy on perinatal metabolic outcomes in human populations.
Methods: Using data from the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study, a Canadian pregnancy cohort, we measured associations of first-trimester urinary triclosan concentrations with total gestational weight gain, gestational diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance in pregnancy, and fetal markers of metabolic function. Leptin and adiponectin were measured in plasma from umbilical cord blood samples in term neonates and categorized into low (< 10th percentile), intermediate (10th-90th percentile) and high (> 90th percentile) levels. Triclosan concentrations were grouped into quartiles and associations with study outcomes were examined using logistic regression models with adjustment for maternal age, race/ethnicity, pre-pregnancy BMI, education and urinary specific gravity. Restricted cubic spline analysis was performed to help assess linearity and shape of any dose-response relationships. All analyses for leptin and adiponectin levels were performed on the entire cohort as well as stratified by fetal sex.
Results: Triclosan measures were available for 1795 MIREC participants with a live born singleton birth. Regression analyses showed a non-significant inverse association between triclosan concentrations and leptin levels above the 90th percentile that was restricted to female fetuses (OR for highest quartile of triclosan compared to lowest quartile = 0.4 (95% CI 0.2-1.1), p-value for trend across quartiles = 0.02). Triclosan concentrations in the second quartile were associated with elevated odds of adiponectin below the 10th percentile in male fetuses (OR for Q2 compared to Q1 = 2.5, 95% CI 1.1-5.9, p-value for trend across quartiles = 0.93). No significant linear associations between triclosan concentrations and leptin or adiponectin levels in overall or sex-specific analyses were observed from restricted cubic spline analyses. No significant associations were observed in adjusted analyses between triclosan concentrations and gestational diabetes mellitus, impaired glucose tolerance or gestational weight gain.
Conclusions: This study does not support an association between triclosan concentrations in pregnancy and fetal metabolic markers, glucose disorders of pregnancy, or excessive gestational weight gain.
Keywords: Adiponectin; Gestational diabetes; Leptin; Pregnancy; Triclosan.
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