PRENATAL EXPOSURE TO ORGANOPHOSPHORUS PESTICIDES AND CHILDHOOD NEURODEVELOPMENTAL PHENOTYPES Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
Creator
  • Furlong, Melissa
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
Abstract
  • Background: Neurodevelopmental traits are often treated as independent in etiological studies, although neurological functions exhibit complex correlational structures. Allowing traits to cluster into phenotypes may produce outcomes that are more clinically and biologically relevant. Additionally, environmental exposures often occur in a mixture. Accounting for such a possibility may reduce bias that results from assuming exposures are independent. We sought to estimate associations between organophosphorus pesticides and neurodevelopment after accounting for these possibilities. Methods: A prospective birth cohort of 404 mother/infant pairs were followed from pregnancy until the children were 6 and 7-9 years of age. Factor analysis was performed on parent-report measures of child executive functioning and behavior, and performance-based measures of IQ. We estimated associations between demographic characteristics, maternal characteristics and environmental exposures during pregnancy and early childhood, and the neurodevelopmental factor scores after accounting for correlations among the factors. Results: We determined the existence of a seven factor solution. Smoking during pregnancy, canned fish consumption, maternal education, and HOME environment were associated with various factors. Prenatal exposure to ∑DMPs was associated with worse Internalizing factor scores but better Executive Functioning factor scores, while ∑DEPs were associated with worse Working Memory Index scores. Estimates were generally stronger for factor scores than for individual instrument-specific items. Conclusions: Associations between prenatal exposure to OPs and worse internalizing behaviors and working memory scores are supported by prior findings in both human and animal studies. Associations with improved executive functioning are not supported by prior literature and may be a result of residual confounding by maternal executive functioning and dietary sources of OPs. A phenotypic outcome modeling approach may provide advantages over more traditional outcome modeling approaches.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Goldman, Barbara
  • Herring, Amy
  • Daniels, Julie
  • Engel, Lawrence
  • Engel, Stephanie
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016
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