Arsenic Exposure of Mothers and Low Birth Weight

Sheikh Akhtar Ahmad, Manzurul Haque khan, Mahmud Hasan Faruquee, Rabeya Yasmin, Shanta Dutta, Mahibun Nahar, Sheikh Mohmmad Nafis Kabir, Salamat Khasndkar


Low birth weight (LBW) of the babies was found to be associated with arsenic exposure through consuming arsenic-contaminated water in Bangladesh. But the influences of maternal nutritional status and hemoglobin level remains to be dealt with. This study was conducted to assess the LBW of the babies in reference to arsenic exposure of mothers controlling the influences of the nutritional status (BMI) and hemoglobin level. This was a cross-sectional study carried out amongst the pregnant mothers who came to a district hospital for delivery. The mothers aged ≥18 years and had no complication were included in the study. A total of 101 mothers and their newborn babies were the study sample. Of the total 101 participant mothers, 41.5% were arsenic exposed. Comparatively, on an average, lower birth weight (2492± 477gr) was found among the babies born to arsenic exposed-mother. The exposed mother of LBW babies had significantly a higher urine arsenic concentration (381.38µg/L). The correlation analysis revealed that there was a negative relationship with the urine arsenic concentration (r=-.619; p=.000) and positive relationship with the hemoglobin level (r=.280; p=.092) and BMI (r=.204; p=195) of the exposed mother with the birth weight. After controlling the influence of hemoglobin level and BMI, an almost same association was found between LBW and urine arsenic. Mothers with arsenic exposure were at risk of giving birth to LBW babies, this could increase as evident by higher maternal urine arsenic concentration. And any positive effect of maternal nutritional status and hemoglobin level on birth weight of newborn could be offset by arsenic exposure.


LBW, Low Birth Weight, Arsenic, Arsenicosis, Anemia, BMI, Hemoglobin

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