Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzo-furans (PCDFs) and di-oxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are a widespread diverse group of persistent, lipo-philic hazardous environmental pollutants. For non-occupationally expos ed people, diet is the primary source of exposure to dioxins estimated at 90% to 98%. Foods of animal origin are the major contributors to the detected dioxins in human blood and breast milk. Exposure in preg-nancy may have significant consequences for a child?s and adult health; therefore estimating prenatal exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds is of high interest. Questionnaire in-formation on dietary habits and other lifestyle characteristics together with maternal and cord blood collection ha ve been completed as part of the NewGeneris EU-project in 2010. Five Eu-ropean cohorts have participated: Norway, Denmark, Spain, Hellas and England and a total of 1433 maternal and 831 cord blood plasma samples have been analyzed with the Dioxin-Responsi ve Chemically Activated LUciferase eXpression (DR-CALUX) assay. The first step in this project will be to create common food variables and construct a joint database of the five participating cohorts. Comparisons between countries will be done first in fr equency of con-sumption of each food group and second in quantities. Dietary patterns will be assessed because dietary patterns represent a broader picture of food and nutrient consumption and may be more predictive of disease risk and useful in epidemiol ogical studies. To quantify the association be-tween maternal diet and DR-CALUX bioassay results, multivariable linear or logistic models will be used, as appropriate, depending on whether the outcome (DR-CALUX results) will be treated as continuous or ca tegorical.
The aim of the project will be to identify dietary predictors of maternal and foetal exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in a European population of pregnant women.