Paternal occupational exposures and infant congenital heart defects in the Japan Environment and Children’s Study


Background: Few prospective studies have investigated the association between paternal occupational exposures and risk of infant congenital heart defects (CHDs). We investigated the associations between paternal occupational exposures, frequency of use, and concurrent or sequential exposure to a mixture of compounds and the risk of infant CHDs.

Methods: Our study examined 28,866 participants in the Japan Environment and Children’s Study. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with paternal occupational exposures during the 3 months until pregnancy was noticed after adjustment for potential confounding factors of the infant CHDs. CHD diagnosis was ascertained from medical record.

Results: In total, 175 were diagnosed with infant CHDs. The number of fathers who were exposed to the following substances at least once a month were: 11,533 for photo copying machine/laser printer, 10,326 for permanent marker, 8,226 for soluble paint/inkjet printer, 6,188 for kerosene/petroleum/benzene/gasoline, 4,173 for organic solvents, 3,433 for chlorine bleach/germicide, 2,962 for engine oil, 2,931 for insecticide, 2,460 for medical sterilizing disinfectant, 1,786 for welding fumes, 1,614 for dyestuffs, 1,247 for any products containing lead-like solder, 986 for herbicide, 919 for radiation/radioactive substances/isotopes, 837 for lead-free solder, 341 for microbes, 319 for formalin/formaldehyde, 301 for agricultural chemical not listed above or unidentified, 196 for general anesthetic for surgery at hospital, 171 for anti-cancer drug, 147 for chromium/arsenic/cadmium, 88 for mercury and 833 for other chemical substances. Paternal occupational exposure regularly to photo copying machine or laser printer and soluble paint/inkjet printer were associated with higher risks of infant CHDs: the adjusted ORs (95%CIs) were 1.38 (1.00-1.91) and 1.60 (1.08-2.37), respectively. The higher risks were also observed for occasional exposure to engine oil, any products containing lead-like solder lead-free solder, and microbes; the adjusted ORs (95%CIs) were 1.68 (1.02-2.77), 2.03 (1.06-3.88), 3.45 (1.85-6.43), and 4.51, (1.63-12.49), respectively.

Conclusions: Periconceptional paternal occupational exposure was associated with a higher risk of infant CHDs. Further studies using biomarkers of the association between paternal occupational exposure and infant CHDs are warranted.

Authors: Mina Hayama-Terada, Yuri Aochi, Satoyo Ikehara, Takashi Kimura, Kazumasa Yamagishi, Takuyo Sato, Hiroyasu Iso
; Full Source: Environmental health and preventive medicine 2023;28:12. doi: 10.1265/ehpm.22-00202.