Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

The relationship between maternal blood cadmium, zinc levels and birth weight of babies in non-occupationally exposed pregnant women in Benin City, Nigeria

M.A. Emokpae, O.J. Agbonlahor, A.E. Evbuomwan


The delivery of babies with low birth weight is a prognosis of neonatal mortality, morbidity and poor health outcomes later in life. This study evaluates the levels of cadmium, zinc and calculated cadmium/zinc ratio in non-occupationally exposed pregnant women at delivery and their relationship with birth weight of babies.

Blood cadmium, plasma zinc and calculated cadmium/zinc ratio were determined in 200 pregnant women at delivery and 100 non-pregnant women which served as controls. Blood cadmium and plasma zinc were assayed by electrothermal Atomic Absorption Spectrometer and spectrophotometric method respectively.

Maternal blood cadmium and cadmium/zinc ratio were significantly higher in those with low birth weight (p<0.001) while plasma zinc was significantly lower than in those who gave birth to babies with normal weight (p<0.001). The anthropometric measurements: birth weight, head circumference and length were significantly lower in babies with low birth weight than in normal birth weight (p<0.05). Blood cadmium and cadmium/zinc ratio correlated inversely with birth weight (r=-0.461; p<0.02) while plasma zinc, head circumference (r=0.392; p<0.05) and length (r=0.390; p<0.05) correlated positively with neonatal birth weight (r=0.482; p<0.02) (r=0.392; p<0.05) (r=0.390; p<0.05) respectively. Concerted effort should be made to check environmental pollutions to avoid their harmful effects on human reproduction and birth weight of neonates.

Keywords: Blood Cadmium, Zinc, Cadmium/Zinc Ratio and Low Birth Weight

AJOL African Journals Online