Introduction: Manganese and lead have been cross-sectionally associated with adverse respiratory outcomes in childhood but there is limited data on their combined effects starting in utero. We examined associations between in utero exposure to metals and childhood respiratory symptoms. Methods: We assessed 633 mother-child dyads enrolled in the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment, and Social Stressors (PROGRESS) birth cohort in Mexico City. Blood manganese (BMn) and lead (BPb) were measured in mothers at 2nd and 3rd trimester. Ever wheeze, current wheeze and asthma diagnosis were ascertained at 4–5 and 6–7 year visits through the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood survey. Logistic mixed model regression was used to assess the association between prenatal metals and respiratory outcomes in children across the 4–5 and 6–7 year visits. Covariates included mother's age, education and asthma, environmental tobacco smoke, child's sex and assessment time. Results: In adjusted models, higher 2nd trimester BPb had a significant association with elevated odds of ever wheeze (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.97, 95% CI: 1.05, 3.67). BMn at 2nd trimester was associated with decreased (OR: 0.06, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.35) odds of current wheeze. We did not find any statistically significant associations with 3rd trimester blood metals. Conclusion: Prenatal exposure to Pb was associated with higher odds of ever wheeze while Mn was negatively associated with odds of current wheeze. These findings underscore the need to consider prenatal metal exposure, including low exposure levels, in the study of adverse respiratory outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112448
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Lead
  • Manganese
  • Metals
  • Prenatal exposure
  • Respiratory
  • Wheeze


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between prenatal metal exposure and adverse respiratory symptoms in childhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this