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Marta Jagodic, Janja Snoj Tratnik, Darja Mazej, Anja Stajnko, Majda Pavlin, Mladen Krsnik, Alfred B. Kobal, Lijana Kononenko, Jon Øyvind Odland, Milena Horvat



The objective of the present study was to evaluate the relation between maternal blood levels of selected toxic and potentially toxic elements (manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), selenium (Se), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg)) and birth weight of their new-borns in a Slovenian population, taking into account maternal socio-demographic characteristics and dietary habits. 535 women from 12 regions of Slovenia were recruited at delivery. Maternal blood was collected at 1.5 months after birth. Associations between birth weight and a) predictors obtained through the questionnaires and b) levels of selected elements were tested using bivariate tests and multiple linear regression. Multiple regression models revealed maternal age as an additional predictor for birth weight and confirmed pre-pregnancy body mass, estimated gestational age and gender of the baby as the main predictors for birth weight. Mn in maternal blood was significantly and positively associated with birth weight. The positive association observed between birth weight and Mn in maternal blood could be explained by the essentiality of Mn in foetal development as an important cofactor in enzyme reactions in bone formation and in metabolic regulation for amino acid, lipid, protein and carbohydrate levels.


Birth weight, toxic elements, essential elements, maternal whole blood, preventive health, Slovenia

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