Nav: Home

Common plastics chemical BPA linked to preterm birth

March 24, 2016

Higher concentrations of the common plastics chemical and environmental pollutant Bisphenol A, or BPA, in a pregnant mother's blood may be a contributing factor in preterm births, according to a new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

The new study, led by Ramkumar Menon, assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UTMB, in collaboration with Winthrop University Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Southern California, found that pregnant women with higher levels of BPA in their blood were more likely to deliver their babies early compared with women with lower levels of BPA.

The investigators analyzed blood samples from pregnant women when they were admitted to the hospital for labor and delivery and from the amniotic fluid of the fetus collected during labor. These samples were obtained by the Nashville Birth Cohort Biobank. The study was recently published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine.

"Women are continuously exposed to BPA because it's used in the construction and coatings of food containers and its release into food is increased by microwave or other heat sources," Menon said. "In fact, BPA is so widely used that nearly all women have some level of exposure."

BPA is structurally similar to the female hormone estrogen and binds to estrogen receptors within the body, including those responsible for inflammation. Abnormal inflammation increases the risk of a number of pregnancy complications including water breaking early and preterm birth. This is the first study to investigate the role of BPA blood levels on risk of preterm birth.

"Widespread use of BPA in materials of our daily life and our findings that all patients have some level of exposure suggests that contact with these materials is unavoidable," Menon said. "This suggests that a better understanding of how BPA may alter maternal physiology is needed to minimize the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes."

The team is currently conducting studies using cells from pregnant women's uteruses and fetal membranes to document these molecular pathways and identify potential targets for intervention.
-end-
Other authors of this paper include UTMB's Faranak Behnia, Cheryl Watson and George Saade as well as Morgan Peltier from Winthrop University Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Darios Getahun from Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the UTMB department of obstetrics and gynecology.

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Related Preterm Birth Articles:

WVU biostatistician studies link between microbiome and preterm birth
Pregnant African American women are more likely than white women to give birth prematurely, but they're underrepresented in studies of preterm birth rates.
3D-printed device detects biomarkers of preterm birth
Preterm birth (PTB) -- defined as birth before the 37th week of gestation -- is the leading complication of pregnancy.
Association of quitting smoking during pregnancy, risk of preterm birth
This study of more than 25 million pregnant women reports on rates of smoking cessation at the start of and during pregnancy and also examines the association of quitting cigarette smoking and the risk of preterm birth.
Blood test developed to predict spontaneous preterm birth
Results from a multicenter study show that five circulating microparticle proteins found in first-trimester blood samples may provide important clues about risk of spontaneous preterm birth.
Scientists gain new insight on triggers for preterm birth
A group of scientists led by Ramkumar Menon at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have gained new insight on a poorly-understood key player in the timing of labor and delivery.
More Preterm Birth News and Preterm Birth Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...