Can cell proliferation of umbilical cord blood cells reflect environmental exposures? Academic Article uri icon


  • Environmental hazards were shown to have an impact on cell proliferation (CP). We investigated CP of lymphocytes in umbilical cord blood in relation to prenatal environmental exposures in a sample of 346 Arab-Bedouin women giving birth in a local hospital. Information on subjects' addresses at pregnancy, potential household exposures and demographical status was collected in an interview during hospitalization. This population is usually featured by high rates of neonatal morbidity and multiple environmental exposures, originating from the local industrial park (IP), household hazards and frequent male smoking. A geometric mean CP ratio 2.17 (2.06; 2.29), and was high in women residing in a direction of prevailing winds from the local IP (p value = 0.094) and who gave birth during fall-winter season (p value = 0.024). Women complaining on disturbing exposure to noise had lower CP (p value = 0.015), compared to other women. CP was not indicative of neonatal morbidity. However, our findings suggest that CP of umbilical cord might be modified by environmental exposures. A long-term follow-up of the children is required to assess their developmental outcomes.

publication date

  • July 1, 2015