Objective: To use meta-analytic techniques to synthesize the findings of the current body of published literature regarding the risk of hypospadias resulting from parental exposure to pesticides. Materials and methods: A search of Pub Med for original research published in English from January 1966 through March 2008 identified 552 studies, 90 of which were reviewed in detail. Nine studies met all study inclusion criteria. Two reviewers independently abstracted data from each included study. Any disagreements were resolved by consensus. Pooled risk ratios (PRRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using both random and fixed effects models, along with statistical tests of homogeneity. Results: Elevated but marginally significant risks of hypospadias were associated with maternal occupational exposure (PRR of 1.36, CI = 1.04-1.77), and paternal occupational exposure (PRR of 1.19, CI = 1.00-1.41). Subgroup analyses provided insights into needed designs for future studies. Notably, exposure assessment using a job-exposure matrix resulted in slightly higher estimated risk than agricultural occupation in fathers; but this effect was reversed in mothers, suggesting the importance of indirect and residential pesticide exposures in this group. Conclusions: Despite potential exposure misclassification, which would tend to diminish observed associations, the previous literature indicates a modestly increased risk of hypospadias associated with pesticide exposure.
- Congenital abnormalities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health