2010 Progress Report: Longitudinal Effects of Multiple Pollutants on Child Growth, Blood Pressure and Cognition

EPA Grant Number: R834798C004
Subproject: this is subproject number 004 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R834798
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Air Pollution Mixtures: Health Effects across Life Stages
Center Director: Koutrakis, Petros
Title: Longitudinal Effects of Multiple Pollutants on Child Growth, Blood Pressure and Cognition
Investigators: Gold, Diane R. , Oken, Emily , Schwartz, Joel
Current Investigators: Gold, Diane R. , Oken, Emily , Schwartz, Joel , Gillman, Matthew
Institution: Harvard University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2015 (Extended to December 31, 2016)
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 1, 2010 through December 31,2010
RFA: Clean Air Research Centers (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health Effects , Air


The main aim of this project is to determine, in a pre-birth cohort originating in the Greater Boston area, the health effects of prenatal and postnatal exposures to individual pollutants, sources, and pollutant mixtures on somatic growth, cardiovascular risk (blood pressure, exercise tolerance) and cognition.  Elevated blood pressure, reduced cognition, behavioral problems, and abnormal somatic growth are significant burdens on individuals, their families and society. We hypothesize that prenatal and postnatal pollution exposures (individual pollutants, sources, or mixtures) will lead to adverse changes in somatic growth, increased blood pressure, reduced cardiovascular fitness, and reduced cognition in children. The strength of the chronic and acute effects of individual pollutants on our outcomes will vary by source and mixture, as well as the timing of prenatal and postnatal exposures. Increased vulnerability or susceptibility to pollution effects on these adverse health outcomes will also result from socioeconomic disparities, stress and violence, environmental tobacco smoke, and reduced maternal and child omega-3 fatty acid intake measured in the prenatal as well as postnatal periods.

Progress Summary:

The Viva cohort consists of mothers and their offspring: 2128 live births, 1701 at 6 months, 1401 at 3 years, 1276 at 7 years.   With the goal of estimating trimester-specific, post-natal and childhood pollutant exposures, we have abstracted all pre-birth, post-natal and childhood addresses for all children. Growth, cardiovascular and cognitive outcomes have been measured and are available for analytic purposes. We have geocoded all addresses;  have estimated cumulative traffic and other GIS-based exposures;  and have created a data set with all GIS land use and weather variables needed to estimate black carbon and PM2.5 for the prenatal period and lifetime of each of the children.  Pending pollution estimates we have evaluated the associations of residence location during pregnancy with a series of health outcomes. Fetal growth is reduced with increased cumulative traffic, urban-ness and population density.   Overweight at 6 months is increased with increased cumulative traffic density. Children in more urban areas are more obese. On-verbal and verbal cognition appeared to be reduced, and behavior difficulties appeared to be greater in children whose mothers lived in more urban areas with more traffic during their pregnancy. However, all associations were attenuated after adjusting for maternal r/e, age, maternal and paternal education, married, household income, parity, smoking during pregnancy, fetal growth, gestational age at birth, bf duration, maternal Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (3 y), HOME (Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment) score and Maternal Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (7 y).  Other health outcomes were explored in preliminary analyses. Sleep-disordered breathing was more prevalent in urban, disadvantaged populations. Adjusting for potential confounders, increased traffic was a risk factor for bronchitis or croup at age 3 (OR=1.19; 95% CI 1.04, 1.35). Living further from major roadways at birth was protective against active asthma at ages 3 and 7 (OR=0.89 for increased distance [95% CI: 0.80, 0.99]). Living in a more densely populated, urban area of Boston was a risk factor for asthma incidence.

Future Activities:

Continuing analysis of exposure and outcome data.  Within the next 2 months our goals are (1) to complete BC and PM2.5 estimates that will be used for estimation of spatiotemporal variability of exposures, and (2) to link health outcome data to central site measures of pollution, for analyses dependent on temporal variability of pollution.   For future analyses, we await spatially and temporally-resolved estimates of pollution exposures during fetal life and during childhood.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 49 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

Air pollution; child health; pregnancy; growth; blood pressure; cognition; inflammation; environmental justice; vulnerability; susceptibility, Scientific Discipline, Air, air toxics, Health Risk Assessment, Air Pollution Effects, Biochemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Biology, ambient air quality, complex mixtures, health effects, sensitive populations, children's health, air pollutants, biological sensitivities, exposure and effects, lung epithelial cells, susceptible populations, chemical composition, neurotoxicity, human exposure, toxicity, coronary artery disease, cardiopulmonary, cardiotoxicity, environmental effects, mortality, human health

Relevant Websites:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/clarc/index.html Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2011 Progress Report
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R834798    Air Pollution Mixtures: Health Effects across Life Stages

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R834798C001 Relative Toxicity of Air Pollution Mixtures
    R834798C002 Cognitive Decline, Cardiovascular Changes, and Biological Aging in Response to Air Pollution
    R834798C003 Identifying the Cognitive and Vascular Effects of Air Pollution Sources and Mixtures in the Framingham Offspring and Third Generation Cohorts
    R834798C004 Longitudinal Effects of Multiple Pollutants on Child Growth, Blood Pressure and Cognition
    R834798C005 A National Study to Assess Susceptibility, Vulnerability, and Effect Modification of Air Pollution Health Risks