A new study published on September 1, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives investigated the role of bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) exposure during pregnancy in preterm birth (PTB). Researchers David E. Cantonwine and colleagues from the Harvard Medical School, U.S. and the University of Michigan School of Public Health, U.S. analyzed urine samples of pregnant women for BPA concentrations at three time points during pregnancy. The study population included 130 women who delivered before 37 weeks of pregnancy (PTB cases) and 352 randomly selected women who delivered at or after 37 weeks (controls). PTB cases were classified as “spontaneous”, preceded by spontaneous preterm labor or preterm premature rupture of membranes, or “placental”, preceded by preeclampsia or intrauterine growth restriction. The researchers report that geometric mean concentrations of urinary BPA did not differ significantly between PTB cases and controls. Generally, urinary BPA concentrations averaged across pregnancy were not significantly associated with PTB. However, levels of urinary BPA late in pregnancy were significantly associated with increased odds of “spontaneous” PTB. Also, averaged BPA exposure during pregnancy was associated with significantly increased odds of PTB among female infants, but not males. The researchers conclude that their results provide little evidence of a link between BPA exposure and PTB. However, given the associations found for “spontaneous” PTB and female infants, they suggest that further research may be needed.

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Cantonwine, D. E. et al. (2015). “Urinary bisphenol A levels during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth.Environmental Health Perspectives 123(9):895-901.