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    Cigarette smoking is a well-studied risk factor for orofacial clefts (OFCs). Little is known about which constituents in cigarette smoke contribute to this teratogenicity in humans. One constituent, cadmium, has been associated with OFCs in animal studies; in humans, the role of maternal cadmium exposure on OFCs, independent of cigarette smoke, is unclear. In particular, the relation between maternal occupational cadmium exposure and OFCs is largely unexplored. Using data from a large, population-based case-control study, we compared expert rater assessed maternal occupational cadmium exposure from self-reported occupational histories during the period 1 month before through 3 months after conception between OFC cases (n = 1,185) and unaffected controls (n = 2,832). Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals for any (yes/no) and cumulative (no, low, high exposure) occupational cadmium exposures and all OFCs, cleft lip ± cleft palate (CL/P) and cleft palate (CP). Overall, 45 mothers (cases = 13, controls = 32) were rated as having occupational cadmium exposure. Comparing all OFCs to controls, we observed inverse, nonsignificant aORs for any or low exposure, and positive, nonsignificant aORs for high exposure. Where data were available, aORs for CL/P and CP tended to parallel those for all OFCs. To our knowledge, this is the first study to specifically examine maternal occupational cadmium exposure and OFCs, using expert rater exposure assessment. The small numbers of exposed mothers observed, however, led to imprecise estimates. Continued research using more detailed occupational exposure assessment and increased sample sizes is recommended. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


    Jonathan Suhl, Paul A Romitti, Yanyan Cao, Carissa M Rocheleau, Trudy L Burns, Kristin Conway, Preetha Rajaraman, A J Agopian, Patricia Stewart, National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Maternal occupational cadmium exposure and nonsyndromic orofacial clefts. Birth defects research. 2018 Apr 17;110(7):603-609

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    PMID: 29359414

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