Fetal exposure to heavy metals linked to childhood asthma, a
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Exposure to Cadmium in the womb may impact the development of asthma and allergic diseases in childhood, according to research. Heavy metals, to which people can be exposed to in everyday life through food, water, air, can have a damaging effect on health even at low doses.

Researchers analyzed maternal blood samples from 706 pregnant women in maternity units in France and cord blood after delivery. They evaluated serum concentrations of lead, cadmium and manganese to investigate the association with fetal exposure and risk for developing asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema and food allergy in childhood. Researchers followed the children up to age 8 years. Parents responded to annual questionnaires on children’s health, asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema and food allergy symptoms. Possible factors known to influence these conditions were also considered, such as parental smoking history and family medical history.

The researchers found heavy metals in both maternal blood and cord blood samples, with an average of 0.8 g/L of cadmium in maternal blood samples and an average of 0.5 g/L in cord blood samples. Cadmium levels in cord blood samples were associated with increased risk for asthma (HR for highest vs. lowest quintile = 1.81; 95% CI), eczema (HR = 1.6; 95% CI) and food allergy (HR = 3.17; 95% CI). Manganese levels in maternal blood were associated with increased risk for eczema only (HR = 1.55; 95% CI).

Study suggests that exposure to cadmium in the womb could have a role in increasing the risk of asthma and allergies in children. It is believed that cadmium is interfering with babies developing immune systems, and this can have an impact on their allergic reactions in childhood.

source: https://www.ersnet.org/the-society/news/exposure-to-cadmium-in-the-womb-linked-to-childhood-asthma-and-allergies
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