Abstract 15332: Congenital Heart Disease and the Emission of Industrial Developmental Toxicants in Alberta, Canada
BACKGROUND: Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a significant global public health issue affecting 1% of all live births and the most common lethal congenital abnormality in infancy. Although CHD may occur in the presence of chromosomal abnormalities, in most affected children, the cause is unknown. The role of environmental pollutants has recently received attention. We sought to explore the association of developmental toxicants (DTs) from industrial sources and CHD in Alberta, Canada through an interdisciplinary multistep study.
METHODS: In this ecologic study we collected the following data: 1) Chemical emissions between 2003-2010 from Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). We used Scorecard criteria to identify corresponding toxic equivalent potential (TEP) values of the chemicals in order to calculate risk scores. 2) CHD cases born between 1/06/04-31/08/11 from Stollery Children’s Hospital Xcelera database were assigned the mother’s first trimester as the year of exposure and 3) Annual births from Statistics Canada were used to calculate rates of CHD. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the DTs was undertaken using STATA 12.
RESULTS: We identified 1903 cases of CHD and we focused on 17 DTs emitted to air because 99% of all the NPRI’s emissions are released to air. The multivariate PCA identified 3 groupings or components of the 17 DTs. Component 1, which consisted of 13 DTs, a mixture of metals and volatile organic compounds (VOC), was strongly correlated with rates of CHD (r= 0.94, p <0, 01). Component 2, which consisted of 2 VOCs, showed weak correlation with rates of CHD (r=0.06, p=0.87), and component 3, with 2 other DTs, showed negative correlation with rates of CHD (r= -0.91, p=0.82). PCA analysis revealed a fairly acute change in the pattern of rates of CHD after the year 2006. Interestingly, in 2006 the Canadian government introduced and implemented Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan aimed at reducing industrial emissions.
CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary results suggest a link between mixtures of industrial pollutants and CHD in Alberta supported by the retrospective inference of change in the correlations of rates of CHD and the 3 components after the year 2006. These changes are currently being explored.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.