Pesticide risk and recurrent pregnancy loss in females of subhumid region of India.

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From: Nigerian Medical Journal(Vol. 61, Issue 2)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 2,632 words
Lexile Measure: 1550L

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Byline: Akancha. Pandey, Shyam. Jaiswar, Nasreen. Ansari, Sujata. Deo, Pushplata. Sankhwar, Shriya. Pant, Sushil. Upadhyay

Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the level of pesticides and their role in cases of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). Materials and Methods: This was designed as a case-control study. Gas chromatography was used to characterize the pesticide level in 70 cases and 70 controls. Case refers to women with RPL, whereas controls refer to women with full-term delivery. Results: A higher level of pesticide, namely beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, malathion, chlorpyrifos, and fenvalerate was found in the case group as compared to control group (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The present study suggests that high exposure of pesticide (organochlorine and organophosphates) may increase the risk of RPL in females of the subhumid region of India.


Based on the incidence of sporadic pregnancy loss, the incidence of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) should be approximately 1 in 300 pregnancies. Although the specific cause of RPL is not yet known, considerable evidence suggests that both genetics and the environment play an important role in the origin and evolution of this disease. Pesticides are the class of man-made environmental chemicals that can affect the body's development, growth, and hormone balance.[1] Pesticides are usually designed to target a particular pest, but due to its broad range of toxicity, it can also be directed to other nontarget species. In the majority of cases, however, human exposure is unintentional.

Previous studies also examined the role of other factors such as infections, hormonal aberrations, menstrual irregularities, malnutrition, psychological conditions, stressful events, high alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine intake, but the results are inconsistent.[2],[3] In recent years, the high risk of miscarriages has been reported in smoking women.[4] Settimi et al . also reported the positive association between pesticides exposure and increased risk of pregnancy loss.[5] Pesticides exposure may also cause reproductive and developmental disorders.[6] A definite cause of RPL can be identified only through intensive diagnostics.

Environmental pollutants or xenobiotics have been suspected for their strong role in causing RPL and other reproductive aberrations, but pesticides such as organochlorine (OCP) and organophosphate (OPP) are suggested as the main culprits. Pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and hexachlorocyclohexane are officially banned in India. However, they are still in use to control the disease-carrying vectors.[7]

OCP and OPP both have a long half-life. These pesticides accumulate in the adipose tissue and thus enter into the food chain and circulate.[8] On exposure through different means such as air, water, food, and soil, these may enter in blood circulation and can induce endocrinological disorders, immunological aberrations, oxidative damage, and eventually molecular damage.[9],[10],[11] The roles of di chloro di phenyl tri chloro ethane (DDT) exposure in spontaneous pregnancy loss have previously been reported.[3],[12],[13] However, more studies with diverse patient groups are required to establish the association of pesticides in the etiology of RPL. The present study was conducted to further investigate this claim. The levels of OCP and OPP were quantified and compared between the cases with repeated pregnancy loss...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A623903194