Jörg Schullehner

Prenatal nitrosatable prescription drug intake, drinking water nitrate, and the risk of stillbirth: a register- and population-based cohort of Danish pregnancies, 1997–2017

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Background: Nitrosatable drugs commonly prescribed during pregnancy can react with nitrite to form N-nitroso compounds which have been associated with an increased risk of stillbirth. Whether maternal residential drinking water nitrate modifies this association is unknown. We investigated, if household drinking water nitrate was associated with stillbirth, and if it modified the association between nitrosatable prescription drug intake and the risk of stillbirth. Methods: We conducted an individual-level register- and population-based cohort study using 652,810 women with the first recorded singleton pregnancy in the Danish Medical Birth Registry between 1997 and 2017. Nitrosatable drug exposure was recorded by use of the Danish National Patient Registry defined as women with a first redeemed prescription of a nitrosatable drug the first 22 weeks of pregnancy. The reference group was women with no redeemed prescription of a nitrosatable drug in this period. The average individual drinking water nitrate concentration level (mg/L) was calculated in the same period. We categorized nitrosatable drugs as secondary amines, tertiary amines, and amides. Cox hazard regression was used to estimate crude and adjusted hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals for stillbirth stratified into five categories of nitrate concentrations: ≤1 mg/L, > 1- ≤ 2 mg/L, > 2- ≤ 5 mg/L, > 5- ≤ 25 mg/L, and > 25 mg/L. Results: Drinking water nitrate exposure in the population was not associated with the risk of stillbirth. Among 100,244 women who had a nitrosatable prescription drug redeemed ≤22 weeks of pregnancy of pregnancy, 418 (0.42%) had a stillbirth compared to 1993 stillbirths (0.36%) among 552,566 referent women. Women with any nitrosatable prescription drug intake and > 1- ≤ 2 mg/L nitrate concentration had an increased risk of stillbirth [adjusted hazard ratio 1.55 (95% confidence interval, 1.15–2.09)] compared with referent women. In the stratified analyses, the highest risk of stillbirth was found among women with secondary amine intake and > 25 mg/L nitrate concentrations [adjusted hazard ratio 3.11 (95% CI, 1.08–8.94)]. Conclusions: The association between nitrosatable prescription drug intake and the risk of stillbirth may depend on the level of nitrate in household drinking water. Evaluations of the effect of nitrosatable drug intake on perinatal outcomes might consider nitrate exposure from drinking water.

TidsskriftEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Augustinus Foundation [16-3538] and BERTHA – the Danish Big Data Centre for Environment and Health funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge Program (grant NNF17OC0027864.The founding sources had no role in the design and conduct of the study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

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