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Environ Int. 2016 Feb;87:56-65. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.11.010. Epub 2015 Nov 28.

Prenatal particulate air pollution and neurodevelopment in urban children: Examining sensitive windows and sex-specific associations.

Author information

1
Kravis Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA; Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
2
Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Neurology Research, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
5
Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.
6
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
7
Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA; The Mindich Child Health & Development Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
8
Kravis Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA; The Mindich Child Health & Development Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address: rosalind.wright@mssm.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Brain growth and structural organization occurs in stages beginning prenatally. Toxicants may impact neurodevelopment differently dependent upon exposure timing and fetal sex.

OBJECTIVES:

We implemented innovative methodology to identify sensitive windows for the associations between prenatal particulate matter with diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and children's neurodevelopment.

METHODS:

We assessed 267 full-term urban children's prenatal daily PM2.5 exposure using a validated satellite-based spatio-temporally resolved prediction model. Outcomes included IQ (WISC-IV), attention (omission errors [OEs], commission errors [CEs], hit reaction time [HRT], and HRT standard error [HRT-SE] on the Conners' CPT-II), and memory (general memory [GM] index and its components - verbal [VEM] and visual [VIM] memory, and attention-concentration [AC] indices on the WRAML-2) assessed at age 6.5±0.98 years. To identify the role of exposure timing, we used distributed lag models to examine associations between weekly prenatal PM2.5 exposure and neurodevelopment. Sex-specific associations were also examined.

RESULTS:

Mothers were primarily minorities (60% Hispanic, 25% black); 69% had ≤12 years of education. Adjusting for maternal age, education, race, and smoking, we found associations between higher PM2.5 levels at 31-38 weeks with lower IQ, at 20-26 weeks gestation with increased OEs, at 32-36 weeks with slower HRT, and at 22-40 weeks with increased HRT-SE among boys, while significant associations were found in memory domains in girls (higher PM2.5 exposure at 18-26 weeks with reduced VIM, at 12-20 weeks with reduced GM).

CONCLUSIONS:

Increased PM2.5 exposure in specific prenatal windows may be associated with poorer function across memory and attention domains with variable associations based on sex. Refined determination of time window- and sex-specific associations may enhance insight into underlying mechanisms and identification of vulnerable subgroups.

KEYWORDS:

Air pollution; Neurodevelopment; Particulate matter; Prenatal exposure; Sensitive windows; Sex-specific associations

PMID:
26641520
PMCID:
PMC4691396
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2015.11.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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