Prenatal exposure to dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p´-DDE) may interfere with fetal development; however, studies evaluating anthropometry and gestational age at birth show inconsistent results. Typically, p,p´-DDE exposure has been measured during the third trimester and missed the key early pregnancy period. We evaluated the association between p,p´-DDE exposure before week 18 of pregnancy and anthropometry at birth, as well as gestational length, in 170 mother–child pairs from a cohort study in a flower-growing mexican region. Maternal serum p,p´-DDE concentrations were determined by gas chromatography. The associations between p,p´-DDE and z-scores of birth weight, birth length, and gestational age were evaluated by linear multiple regression models. Logistic regression models were used for low birth weight and small size for gestational age. Effect modification by child’s sex was explored. The average gestational age at the blood sample extraction was 10.6 weeks. p,p'-DDE was detected in 64.7% of mothers, at a geometric mean of 0.24 ng/mL. Prenatal p,p´-DDE exposure was not associated with the birth outcomes in the whole sample. However, a high p,p´-DDE exposure was marginally associated with greater small for gestational age risk in male newborns (OR≥0.076 ng/mL vs <0.076 ng/mL = 3.09, 95% CI: 0.61; 15.58), but not in female (p for interaction = 0.08).
Even though, we found no reductions in anthropometric measurements or gestational length associated with early prenatal p,p´-DDE exposure, the potential effect modification by infant’s sex in terms of small for the gestational age risk deserves future studies.