Background: Placenta previa and placenta accreta associate with high morbidity and mortality for both mothers and fetus. Metal exposure may have relationships with placenta previa and placenta accreta. This study analyzed the associations between maternal metal (cadmium [Cd], lead [Pb], mercury [Hg], selenium [Se], and manganese [Mn]) concentrations and placenta previa and placenta accreta. Methods: We recruited 17,414 women with singleton pregnancies. Data from a self-administered questionnaire regarding the first trimester and medical records after delivery were analyzed. Maternal blood samples were collected to measure metal concentrations. The subjects were classified into four quartiles (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) according to metal concentrations. Results: The odds ratio for placenta previa was significantly higher among subjects with Q4 Cd than those with Q1 Cd. The odds ratio for placenta previa was significantly higher for subjects with Q2 Pb than those with Q1 Pb. Conclusion: Participants with placenta previa had higher Cd concentrations. However, this study was cross-sectional and lacked important information related to Cd concentration, such as detailed smoking habits and sources of Cd intake. In addition, the subjects in this study comprised ordinary pregnant Japanese women, and it was impossible to observe the relationship between a wide range of Cd exposure and placenta previa. Therefore, epidemiological and experimental studies are warranted to verify the relationship between Cd exposure and pregnancy abnormalities.
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