The cumulative risk of prenatal exposures to chemical and non-chemical stressors on birth outcomes in suriname

Academic Article


  • The cumulative exposure to chemical and non-chemical stressors may have an impact on birth outcomes. The aim of this study is to examine the cumulative exposure of a mixture of chemicals (mercury, lead, selenium and tin) and non-chemical stressors (social support, perceived stress, probable depression and BMI) on birth outcomes (birthweight, gestational age at birth, and Apgar score at 5 min). The study population is a subset (n = 384) of the Caribbean Consortium for Research in Environmental and Occupational Health–MeKiTamara prospective cohort study. Associations between the latent chemical construct, non-chemical stressors and birth outcomes were assessed using path models. The results showed a significant direct relationship between perceived stress and birthweight (β = −0.17), however even though the relationship between perceived stress and depression was significant in all three path models (β = 0.61), the association between depression and birth outcomes was not significant. Perceived stress was significantly associated with community engagement (β = −0.12) and individual resilience (β = −0.12). BMI (β = 0.12) was also significantly directly associated with birthweight. The latent chemical construct did not show an association with the birth outcomes. Our data indicate the need for the development of a support system for pregnant women by involving them in prenatal care programs to reduce maternal stress, which may also influence depression and (in)directly improve the birth outcomes. Interventions regarding weight management for women of childbearing age are necessary to halt obesity and its negative effects on birth outcomes.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28215998
  • Author List

  • Gokoel AR; Shankar A; Wahid FA; Hindori-Mohangoo AD; Covert HH; Wickliffe JK; Harville EW; Zijlmans WCWR; Lichtveld MY
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 14