ABSTRACT Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE) are suspected re-productive toxicants. We assessed serum concentration of 76 PCB congeners, DDE, and risk of human chorionic gonadotropin confirmed pregnancy loss among 79 women followed for up to 12 menstrual cycles or until pregnancy. 55 women had live births, 14 experienced pregnancy losses, and 10 did not achieve pregnancy. PCBs and DDE were quantified using gas chromatography with electron capture. PCBs were grouped a priori by biologic activity. Cox proportional hazard regression adjusting for age (categorized 24 - 29, 30 - 34) and average standardized alcohol and cigarette intake (continuous) was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) of pregnancy loss. Estrogenic PCBs (HR = 1.66, 95% CI: 0.68, 4.02), anti-estrogenic PCBs (HR = 0.10, 95% CI: <0.01, 67.07) and DDE (HR = 1.43, 95% CI: 0.45, 4.52) were not statistically significantly associated with pregnancy loss. Our results provide some signal that estrogenic and antiestrogenic PCBs may be differentially associated with pregnancy loss. Further research is needed to elucidate these associations.
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