Patti MA, Kelsey KT, MacFarlane AJ, Papandonatos GD, Arbuckle TE , Ashley-Martin J, Fisher M, Fraser WD, Lanphear BP, Muckle G, Braun JM. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11332. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811332
Gestational arsenic exposure adversely impacts child health. Folate-mediated 1-carbon metabolism facilitates urinary excretion of arsenic and may prevent arsenic-related adverse health outcomes. We investigated the potential for maternal folate status to modify associations between gestational arsenic exposure and child health. We used data from 364 mother–child pairs in the MIREC study, a prospective pan-Canadian cohort. During pregnancy, we measured first trimester urinary arsenic concentrations, plasma folate biomarkers, and folic acid supplementation intake. At age 3 years, we evaluated twelve neurodevelopmental and anthropometric features. Using latent profile analysis and multinomial regression, we developed phenotypic profiles of child health, estimated covariate-adjusted associations between arsenic and these phenotypic profiles, and evaluated whether folate status modified these associations. We identified three phenotypic profiles of neurodevelopment and three of anthropometry, ranging from less to more optimal child health. Gestational arsenic was associated with decreased odds of optimal neurodevelopment. Maternal folate status did not modify associations of arsenic with neurodevelopmental phenotypic profiles, but gestational arsenic was associated with increased odds of excess adiposity among those who exceed recommendations for folic acid (>1000/day). However, arsenic exposure was low and folate status was high. Gestational arsenic exposure may adversely impact child neurodevelopment and anthropometry, and maternal folate status may not modify these associations; however, future work should examine these associations in more arsenic-exposed or lower folate-status populations.