The neurological prognoses of very low birth weight preterm (VLBWP) children during the first 2 years of life will influence their neurodevelopment during subsequent childhood years and adolescence. The objective of this study was to systemic investigate relationships of urinary arsenic (As) concentrations, the As methylation capability, and toenail As concentrations on cognitive, language, and motor development in VLBWP children under 24 months of corrected age.Participants (n = 60) in our study were recruited from October 2010 to April 2013. Urine and toenail samples were collected for evaluation to assess As exposure. The Bayley scales of infant development III were used to evaluate neurodevelopment at 2 years of corrected age. Concentrations of As species in urine and the As concentration in toenails were, respectively, analyzed using HPLC-HG-AAS and ICP-MS.The mean concentration of total As was 28.6 μg/g creatinine, and inorganic As was 1.01 μg/L in urine. The urine contained an average of 3% inorganic As, 2% monomethylarsonic acid, and 95% dimethylarsinic acid (DMA). The mean concentration of As in toenails was 225 ng/g. Children with a longer gestational age (≥28 weeks) and higher DMA % levels appeared to have the highest unadjusted cognitive and fine motor scores.Our study results suggest that gestational age is associated with neurodevelopment in VLBWP children. We recommend that further study simultaneously analyze multiple environmental contaminants that may have adverse effects on neurodevelopment, use biomarkers for the mother-child pair, and determine whether prenatal or postnatal As exposure has a greater influence on the neurological development of VLBWP children.
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