Asset Publisher

Research

ONES

Fine Particle Matter, Fetal Growth, and Neurodevelopment: Examining Critical Windows of Susceptibility

ONES Project
Photo: Luke White / Unsplash
Duration
01/03/2019 - 29/02/2024
Coordinator
Kristina Walker Whitworth (Baylor College of Medicine), Mònica Guxens (ISGlobal)
Funded by
National Institute of Health (NIH), USA

Air pollution is associated with a range of health outcomes; while historically, the focus has been on cardiopulmonary effects, recent toxicological and epidemiologic evidence indicates neurotoxic effects, especially of particulate matter (PM).

Pre- and post-natal exposure to PM has been associated with adverse child neurodevelopmental outcomes, though important questions regarding critical windows of exposure remain unanswered. Given the developmental potential of children (in addition to the fetus), exposure timing is critical in determining the specific nature of exposure-outcome relationships.

Lack of detailed exposure data (e.g., multiple individual-level exposure estimates over the life course) in large pediatric cohort studies hinders efforts to define the complex interplay of factors that determine child health and carefully examine hypotheses related to critical windows of susceptibility to environmental exposures. While in utero exposure to PM may have a direct effect on child neurodevelopmental outcomes, it is possible that this effect is moderated by (or in the case of prenatal exposures mediated through and moderated by) in utero fetal growth.

Thus far, the role of fetal growth in child neurodevelopment has been largely based on studies in children born preterm or small-for-gestational-age (SGA). While convenient and low cost, measures at birth do not capture the dynamic nature of fetal growth. Additionally, anthropometric measures at birth provide a particularly poor proxy of fetal growth during early pregnancy, which may be an important period of exposure for many environmental contaminants, such as air pollution.

Objectives

  1. The primary goal of the proposed study is to evaluate critical windows of exposure to PM with aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 microns (PM2.5) on child cognitive function and behavioral outcomes at ages four and seven.
  2. The secondary goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of the role of fetal growth, and head growth in particular, in the causal pathway linking PM2.5 to child neurodevelopment.

This study will be conducted among children from the INMA (Spanish INfancia y Medio Ambiente) project, a network of birth cohorts in Spain. INMA is unique in includes extensive standardized and objective measures of child neurocognitive and behavioral outcomes at multiple time points, serial indicators of fetal growth (at least three ultrasounds per woman), and extensive residential and health histories. Many of these data are unavailable in other large childhood cohorts.

Given rapid development during fetal development, infancy and early childhood, a more complete understanding of the mechanism through which pre- and postnatal air pollution exposures affect child neurodevelopment, as well as potential windows of susceptibility, may inform interventions aimed at reducing early exposures and ultimately decreasing disease burden.

We propose capitalizing on a wealth of data collected in an established pregnancy cohort, utilizing new approaches for assessment and evaluation of estimates of individual residential PM2.5 exposures, and applying novel statistical methods to identify critical windows of susceptibility to PM2.5.

This study will address gaps that present critical barriers to our ability to translate models of child health into strategies for pediatric health promotion and disease prevention.

Total Funding

$ 1,289,881

Our Team

Coordinators

  • Mònica Guxens
    Mònica Guxens Research Professor
  • Kristina Walker Whitworth (Baylor College of Medicine)
    Kristina Walker Whitworth (Baylor College of Medicine)

ISGlobal Team

Other projects

See Past Projects

CHAI

Cardiovascular Health effects of Air pollution in Andhra Pradesh, India

EARLY-ADAPT

Signs of Early Adaptation to Climate Change

ACTIVID

Impact of the health crisis due to COVID-19 on Physical Activity and Mental Health in Spain

REMEDHY

Researching Environments that Magnify Health Everyday

ELHNA

Exposures to light pollution and heat, and neurodevelopment in adolescents. Project Code: PI20/01695

RECETAS

Re-imagining Environments for Connection and Engagement: Testing Actions for Social Prescribing in Natural Spaces

CATALYSE

Climate Action To Advance HeaLthY Societies in Europe

TwinAir

Digital Twins Enabled Indoor Air Quality Management for Healthy Living

TÀNIA

Participación, tecnología y convivencia para reducir el ruido en las plazas de Barcelona

MCC-Spain

Population based multicasecontrol study on common tumours in Spain

HELIX

Novel tools for integrating early-life environmental exposures and child health across Europe

EGG/EAGLE

Early Genetics Growth/Early Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology

PACE

Pregnancy and Childhood Epigenetics

LIFECYCLE

Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health

OMEGA-NET

Network on the Coordination and Harmonisation of European Occupational Cohorts

HARMONIC

Health effects of cArdiac fluoRoscopy and mOdern radIotherapy in paediatriCs

Mobilise-D

Connecting digital mobility assessment to clinical outcomes for regulatory and clinical endorsement

COVICAT

Cohorte Covid-19 en Cataluña

ATHLETE

Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome Research and Translation

CONTENT

Cohort of COVID-19 in Spain: social dynamics, mental health and inequalities

EUCAN-Connect

A federated FAIR platform enabling large-scale analysis of high-value cohort data connecting Europe and Canada in personalized health

OBERON

An integrative strategy of testing systems for identification of EDs related to metabolic disorders

EXPANSE

EXposome Powered tools for healthy living in urbAN SEttings

AURORA 2021

Actionable eUropean ROadmap for early-life health Risk Assessment of micro- and nanoplastics

AIR-NB

Pre-natal exposure to urban AIR pollution and pre- and post-Natal Brain development

NutinBrain

The role of seafood and nut consumption on human neurodevelopment from pregnancy to adolescence

UrbanKids

Urban and social environment and childhood obesity – a natural moving2health experiment

iGenCO

In-Depth Genomics and Cross-Omics Analysis for Undiagnosed Rare Diseases on a User-Friendly Collaborative Platform

CityExposomeCat

An Exposome Approach to Urban Health: Individualized Environmental Exposure Assessment in an Adults Population Cohort Study (GCAT)

UBDPOLICY

The Urban Burden of Disease Estimation for POLICY Making

TOLIFE

Combining Artificial Intelligence and smart sensing TOward better management and improved quality of LIFE in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

BWater

Drinking Water in Barcelona: Sustainability and Health Impact Assessment

intoDBP

Innovative Tools to Control Organic Matter and Disinfection Byproducts in Drinking Water

FINDOOR

FTIR spectroscopy for real-time detection of bacterial outbreaks and the rapid identification of pathogenic serotypes, relapsing infections and antibiotic resistance

OccRF-Health

Occupational exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: From exposure assessment to study of health in workers and their offspring

EPHOR

Exposome Project for Health and Occupational Research

EXPONIT

Analysing and studying how night shift work affects workers' circadian rhythms and health

IHEN

International Human Exposome Network

B-Triage

Una prueba en el punto de atención para la estratificación del riesgo de los pacientes febriles basada en los niveles de sTREM-1

e-QuoL

e-health tools to promote Equality in Quality of Life for childhood to young adulthood cancer patients, survivors and their families