Smoking by women is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, low birth weight, infertility, and prolonged time to pregnancy. Anogenital distance (AGD) is a sensitive biomarker of prenatal androgen and antiandrogen exposure. We investigated the effect of smoking and passive smoke exposure during pregnancy on anogenital distance in offspring at 4 years in the INMA-Asturias cohort (Spain). Women were interviewed during pregnancy to collect information on tobacco consumption, and anogenital distance was measured in 381 children: Anoscrotal distance in boys and anofourchetal distance in girls. We also measured maternal urinary cotinine levels at 32 weeks of pregnancy. We constructed linear regression models to analyze the association between prenatal smoke exposure and anogenital distance and adjusted the models by relevant covariates. Reported prenatal smoke exposure was associated with statistically significant increased anogenital index (AGI), both at week 12 of pregnancy (β = 0.31, 95% confidence interval: 0.00, 0.63) and at week 32 of pregnancy (β = 0.31, 95% confidence interval: 0.00, 0.63) in male children, suggesting altered androgenic signaling.
Keywords: anogenital distance; endocrine-disrupting chemicals; maternal cigarette smoking; tobacco smoking.