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High Polychlorinated Biphenyl Concentrations May Affect IVF

Implantation failure more likely in women with highest exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Higher serum polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentration levels that are within the normal range for women in the general U.S. population are associated with failed implantation in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), according to a study published online Feb. 24 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

John D. Meeker, Sc.D., from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, and colleagues analyzed serum samples from 765 women undergoing IVF cycles between 1994 and 2003. They measured the concentrations of 57 individual PCBs in the women's serum to evaluate the relationship between serum PCB quartiles and implantation failure, very early miscarriage, or spontaneous abortion.

The researchers found that PCB 153 was present in the highest concentration in the serum. Increasing quartiles of both PCB 153 and of all PCBs were associated with increased dose-dependent odds of failed implantation. The odds ratio for the highest quartile compared to the lowest quartile was 2.0 for PCB 153 and 1.7 for all PCBs. There was no statistically significant association between PCB concentrations and very early miscarriage or spontaneous abortions.

"We found that serum PCB concentrations representative of those measured among the U.S. general population were associated with increased odds of failed implantation among women undergoing IVF," the authors write.

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