Journal Article

Mercury Exposure from Dental Filling Placement during Pregnancy and Low Birth Weight Risk

P. P. Hujoel, M. Lydon-Rochelle, A. M. Bollen, J. S. Woods, W. Geurtsen and M. A. del Aguila

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 161, issue 8, pages 734-740
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online April 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwi100
Mercury Exposure from Dental Filling Placement during Pregnancy and Low Birth Weight Risk

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Several European countries have guidelines suggesting that women should not receive mercury-containing dental amalgam fillings during pregnancy. One concern raised by several studies is that mercury exposure during pregnancy may lead to decreased birth weight. A population-based, case-control study was designed to investigate whether placement of mercury-containing fillings in 1993–2000 during pregnancy increased the low-birth-weight risk. Cases and controls were sampled from enrollees of a dental insurance plan with live singleton births in Washington State; 1,117 women with low-birth-weight infants (<2,500 g) were compared with a random sample of 4,468 women with infants weighing 2,500 g or more. The results indicated that 13% of a dentally insured population had one or more restorative procedures during pregnancy that, regardless of chemical composition, did not increase the low-birth-weight risk (odds ratio = 0.96, 95% confidence interval: 0.88, 1.05). The 4.9% of the women (n = 249) who had at least one mercury-containing amalgam filling during pregnancy were not at an increased risk for a low-birth-weight infant (odds ratio = 0.75, 95% confidence interval: 0.45, 1.26) and neither were women who had 4–11 amalgam fillings placed (odds ratio = 1.00, 95% confidence interval: 0.27, 3.68). This study found no evidence that mercury-containing dental fillings placed during pregnancy increased low-birth-weight risk.

Keywords: birth weight; case-control studies; dentistry; estrogens; infant, low birth weight; mercury; pregnancy; risk

Journal Article.  4554 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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