BACKGROUND: Bulky DNA adducts reflect genotoxic exposures, have been associated with lower birthweight and may predict cancer risk. AIM: We selected factors known or hypothesized to affect in utero adduct formation and repair and examined their associations with adduct levels in neonates. METHODS: Pregnant women from Greece, Spain, England, Denmark and Norway were recruited in 2006-2010. Cord blood bulky DNA adduct levels were measured by the 32P-postlabelling technique (n=511). Diet and maternal characteristics were assessed via questionnaires. Modeled exposures to air pollutants and drinking-water disinfection by-products, mainly trihalomethanes (THMs) were available for a large proportion of the study population. RESULTS: Greek and Spanish neonates had higher adduct levels than the Northern European neonates (median: 12.1 (n=179) vs. 6.8 (n=332) adducts per 108 nucleotides, p<0.001). Being from the Southern European countries, higher maternal body mass-index, delivery by Caesarean section, being boy, low maternal intake of fruits rich in vitamin C, high intake of dairy products and low adherence to healthy diet score were statistically significantly associated with higher adduct levels in adjusted models. Air pollution exposure to PM2.5 and NO2 was associated with significantly higher adducts in the Danish subsample only. Overall, the pooled results for THMs in water show no evidence of association with adduct levels; however, there are country-specific differences in results with a suggestion of an association in England. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that a combination of factors, including unknown country-specific factors, influence the bulky DNA adduct levels in neonates.
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- POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC-HYDROCARBONS, AIR-POLLUTION, BIRTH-WEIGHT, OXIDATIVE STRESS, POOLED ANALYSIS, HUMAN EXPOSURE, HUMAN PLACENTA, TOBACCO-SMOKE, PREGNANCY, WATER