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Biomonitoring of bisphenol A concentrations in maternal and umbilical cord blood in regard to birth outcomes and adipokine expression: a birth cohort study in Taiwan

Wei-Chun Chou1, Jyh-Larng Chen2, Chung-Fen Lin1, Yi-Chun Chen3, Feng-Cheng Shih2 and Chun-Yu Chuang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

2 Department of Environmental Engineering and Health, College of Health Science, Yuanpei University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

3 Department of Health Care Administration, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan, Taiwan

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Environmental Health 2011, 10:94  doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-94

Published: 3 November 2011



Bisphenol A (BPA) is a sealant and flux of plastic materials and has been determined to be an endocrine-disrupting chemical. Prenatal exposure to BPA can lead to substantial adverse effects on fetal growth and development. This study was conducted to assess BPA concentration in pregnant women and umbilical cord blood, and to investigate whether maternal BPA exposure affected fetal outcomes including lower birth weight (LBW), smaller size for gestational age (SGA), and high leptin (HLP) and low adiponectin (LAD) secretion.


We measured the BPA levels of maternal blood (n = 97) and umbilical cord blood (n = 97) with a high-performance liquid chromatography/UV detector. The protein secretion of leptin and adiponectin were separately determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A logistic regression was performed to estimate the effects of maternal exposure to BPA on LBW, SGA, and adverse action of adipokines in newborns.


The geometric means of BPA concentration in maternal blood and fetal cord blood were 2.5 ng/ml and 0.5 ng/ml, respectively. Elevated risks of LBW (OR 2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.72-3.36), SGA (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.39-3.01), and adverse action of leptin (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.12-2.25) and adiponectin (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.52-3.97) were observed in male neonates in the highest quartile of maternal BPA exposure.


Elevated prenatal BPA exposure increased the risk of LBW, SGA, and adverse actions of adipokines in neonates, especially in male infants. These results provide further evidence that maternal exposure is correlated with adverse birth outcomes.