Environmental contaminant levels and fecundability among non-smoking couples
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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of low level maternal and paternal persistent contaminant exposures on fecundability among couples from the general population. METHODS: About 41 couples having their first pregnancy completed questionnaires and provided blood samples for analysis of metals, organochlorine pesticides, and polychorinated biphenyls. Associations of personal consumption and contaminant measures for mothers, fathers, and couples overall were analyzed through fecundability odds ratios (fOR, probability of pregnancy per month in more versus less exposed) in multivariable analyses. FINDINGS: Couples with higher reported caffeine consumption (couple consumption > or =111 drinks/month, fOR 0.25, 95% CI, 0.10, 0.63) and higher mercury concentrations in maternal blood (>1.2 microg/L or 0.24 ppm in hair, fOR 0.22, 95% CI, 0.07, 0.72) had lower fecundability, after adjustment for intercourse frequency. CONCLUSION: Reduced fecundability at levels below the mercury reference dose warrants further research and prudent reduction in persistent toxic substances exposure among women and men of reproductive age.
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