Human exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) is increasing rapidly worldwide. Most existing studies on health effects of glyphosate have focused on occupational settings and cancer outcomes and few have examined this common exposure in relation to the health of pregnant women and newborns in the general population. We investigated associations between prenatal glyphosate exposure and length of gestation in The Infant Development and the Environment Study (TIDES), a multi-center US pregnancy cohort. Glyphosate and its primary degradation product [aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA)] were measured in urine samples collected during the second trimester from 163 pregnant women: 69 preterm births (<37 weeks) and 94 term births, the latter randomly selected as a subset of TIDES term births. We examined the relationship between exposure and length of gestation using multivariable logistic regression models (dichotomous outcome; term versus preterm) and with weighted time-to-event Cox proportional hazards models (gestational age in days). We conducted these analyses in the overall sample and secondarily, restricted to women with spontaneous deliveries (n = 90). Glyphosate and AMPA were detected in most urine samples (>94 %). A shortened gestational length was associated with maternal glyphosate (hazard ratio (HR): 1.31, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.71) and AMPA (HR: 1.32, 95%CI: 1.00–1.73) only among spontaneous deliveries using adjusted Cox proportional hazards models. In binary analysis, glyphosate and AMPA were not associated with preterm birth risk (<37 weeks). Our results indicate widespread exposure to glyphosate in the general population which may impact reproductive health by shortening length of gestation. Given the increasing exposure to GBHs and the public health burden of preterm delivery, larger confirmatory studies are needed, especially in vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and newborns.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Endocrine-disrupting chemicals
- Gestational age
- Preterm birth