Stephanie M Engel

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (44)179.02 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), a prospective population-based pregnancy cohort, is a valuable database for studying causes of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia data in MoBa come from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway (MBRN); thus, we wanted to study the validity of MBRN pre-eclampsia registration for MoBa women.Methods We selected all MoBa pregnancies with pre-eclampsia registered in the MBRN (n = 4081) and a random control group (n = 2000) without pre-eclampsia registrations. After excluding two delivery units not participating in MoBa and one no longer operating, units were asked to provide copies of antenatal charts with blood pressure and urinary measurements from all antenatal visits during pregnancy, and hospital discharge codes from the delivery stay. We received data for 5340 pregnancies delivered 1999–2010 (87% of all eligible). We calculated positive predictive value (PPV), and sensitivity and specificity of MBRN registration, using hypertension and proteinuria on the antenatal charts and/or hospital discharge codes indicating pre-eclampsia as gold standard.ResultsOverall PPV was 83.9% [95% CI 82.7, 85.1] and was higher when women were primiparous, or delivered preterm or low birthweight infants. Severe pre-eclampsia in the MBRN was found to be a true severe pre-eclampsia in 70% of cases. Extrapolating to the total MoBa population, the estimated sensitivity was low – 43.0% (38.7, 48.2) – while specificity was high – 99.2% (99.2, 99.3). False negative cases seemed to have mild forms of pre-eclampsia.ConclusionsPPV and specificity of pre-eclampsia registration in the MBRN during 1999–2010 was satisfactory, while sensitivity was low.
    Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 08/2014; · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides (OPs) has been associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood, including low IQ, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), attention problems and ADHD. Many of these disorders involve impairments in social functioning. Thus, we investigated the relationship between biomarkers of prenatal OP exposure and impaired reciprocal social behavior in childhood, as measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Using a multi-ethnic urban prospective cohort of mother-infant pairs in New York City recruited between 1998 and 2002 (n=404) we examined the relation between third trimester maternal urinary levels of dialkylphosphate (ΣDAP) OP metabolites and SRS scores among 136 children who returned for the 7-9year visit. Overall, there was no association between OPs and SRS scores, although in multivariate adjusted models, associations were heterogeneous by race and by sex. Among blacks, each 10-fold increase in total diethylphosphates (ΣDEP) was associated with poorer social responsiveness (β=5.1 points, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8, 9.4). There was no association among whites or Hispanics, or for total ΣDAP or total dimethylphosphate (ΣDMP) biomarker levels. Additionally, stratum-specific models supported a stronger negative association among boys for ΣDEPs (β=3.5 points, 95% CI 0.2, 6.8), with no notable association among girls. Our results support an association of prenatal OP exposure with deficits in social functioning among blacks and among boys, although this may be in part reflective of differences in exposure patterns.
    Environment international. 06/2014; 70C:125-131.
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    ABSTRACT: ProblemInflammatory biomarkers are associated with preeclampsia (PE) and poor fetal growth; however, genetic epidemiologic studies have been limited by reduced gene coverage and the exclusion of African American mothers.Method of studyCases and controls (N = 1646) from a pregnancy cohort were genotyped for 503 tagSNPs in 40 genes related to inflammation. Gene-set analyses were stratified by race and were followed by a single SNP analysis within significant gene sets.ResultsGene-level associations were found for IL6 and KLRD1 for term small for gestational age (SGA) among African Americans. LTA/TNF and TBX21 were associated with PE among European Americans. The strongest association was for PE among European Americans for an upstream regulator of TNF with RR = 1.8 (95% CI 1.1–2.7).Conclusion Although previous studies have suggested null associations, increased tagging and stratification by genetic ancestry suggests important associations between IL6 and term SGA for African Americans, and a TNF regulator and PE among European Americans (N = 149).
    American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 04/2014; · 3.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to certain phenols is ubiquitous due to their use in many consumer and personal care products. However, predictors of exposure have not been well characterized in most populations. To identify predictors of exposure and assess reproducibility of phenol concentrations across serial spot urine samples among Chinese adults. We measured 2,4-dichlorophenol, 2,5-dichlorophenol, butyl paraben, methyl paraben, propyl paraben, benzophenone-3, bisphenol A, and triclosan in urine collected during 1997-2006 among 50 participants of the Shanghai Women's Health Study cohort and during 2002-2006 among 50 participants of the Shanghai Men's Health Study cohort. We investigated predictors of concentrations using the Satterthwaite t-test and assessed reproducibility among serial samples using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Spearman correlation coefficients (SCC). Creatinine-corrected phenol concentrations were generally higher among women than men. Participants who took medicine in the past 24 hours had higher concentrations of propyl paraben. Cigarette smoking was associated with lower concentrations of propyl and methyl parabens among men. Bottled water consumption was associated with higher bisphenol A, 2,4-dichlorophenol, and 2,5-dichlorophenol concentrations among women. Among men, reproducibility across serial samples was moderate for 2,4-dichlorophenol and 2,5-dichlorophenol (ICC=0.54-0.60, SCC=0.43-0.56), but lower for other analytes (ICC=0.20-0.29). Reproducibility among women was low (ICC=0.13-0.39), but increased when restricted to morning-only urine samples. Among these 100 Shanghai residents, urinary phenol concentrations varied by sex, smoking, and consumption of bottled water. Our results suggest that a single urine sample may be adequate for ranking exposure to the precursors of 2,4-dichlorophenol and 2,5-dichlorophenol among men and, under certain circumstances, among women.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 03/2014; · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent and ubiquitous environmental contaminants, and human exposure to these substances may be related to preeclampsia, a common pregnancy complication. Previous studies have found serum concentrations of PFAS to be positively associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia in a population with high levels of exposure to perfluorooctanoate. Whether this association exists among pregnant women with background levels of PFAS exposure is unknown. Using data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, we carried out a study of nulliparous pregnant women enrolled in 2003-2007 (466 cases, 510 noncases) to estimate associations between PFAS concentrations and an independently validated diagnosis of preeclampsia. We measured levels of 9 PFAS in maternal plasma extracted midpregnancy; statistical analyses were restricted to 7 PFAS that were quantifiable in more than 50% of samples. In proportional hazards models adjusted for maternal age, prepregnancy body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)(2)), educational level, and smoking status, we observed no strongly positive associations between PFAS levels and preeclampsia. We found an inverse association between preeclampsia and the highest quartile of perfluoroundecanoic acid concentration relative to the lowest quartile (hazard ratio = 0.55, 95% confidence interval: 0.38, 0.81). Overall, our findings do not support an increased risk of preeclampsia among nulliparous Norwegian women with background levels of PFAS exposure.
    American journal of epidemiology 02/2014; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although epigenetic regulation plays a critical role in embryonic development, few studies have examined the relationship of epigenome-wide methylation with fetal growth. Using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (Illumina, Inc., San Diego, California) in a substudy of 1,046 infants from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) enrolled between 1999 and 2008, we examined epigenome-wide cord blood DNA methylation in relation to birth weight. In multivariable-adjusted robust linear regression models, we identified differential methylation at 19 cytosine-guanine dinucleotides (CpGs) associated with either decreased (AT-rich interactive domain 5B (MRF1-like) (ARID5B), 2 CpGs) or increased (x-ray repair complementing defective repair in Chinese hamster cells 3 (XRCC3), 4 CpGs) birth weight. ARID5B knockout mice have less adipose tissue and significantly lower weight in the postnatal period. XRCC3 plays a key role in the maintenance of chromosome stability and the repair of DNA damage. Although there are fewer data on the other implicated genes, many of these genes have been shown to have roles in developmental processes. This constitutes the largest and most robust study of birth weight using an epigenome-wide methylation platform and offers potential insights into epigenetic mechanisms of fetal growth.
    American journal of epidemiology 02/2014; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Triclosan (TCS) is a synthetic antibacterial chemical that is used in personal care products and is measurable in urine. Urinary TCS has been associated with allergy in children in Norway and the United States. A reasonable degree of temporal reliability of TCS urinary concentrations has been reported among US children as well as for Puerto Rican pregnant women. We examined the reliability of TCS measures in urine among Norwegian pregnant women. TCS was measured in spot urine samples collected in gestational weeks 17, 23, and 29 from 45 women in The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) enrolled in 2007 and 2008. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rs) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) statistics were calculated. Fifty-six percent of the 45 women had a least one sample with a value above the method limit of detection (2.3 μg/l). The correlation coefficients were 0.61 for TCS concentrations at 17 and 23 weeks and 0.49 for concentrations at 17 and 29 weeks. For the three time points, the ICC was 0.49. The reliability of TCS concentrations in repeated urine samples from pregnant Norwegian women was reasonably good, suggesting a single urine sample can adequately represent TCS exposure during pregnancy.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 29 January 2014; doi:10.1038/jes.2013.95.
    Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 01/2014; · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides (OPs) has been associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood, including low IQ, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), attention problems and ADHD. Many of these disorders involve impairments in social functioning. Thus, we investigated the relationship between biomarkers of prenatal OP exposure and impaired reciprocal social behavior in childhood, as measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS). Using a multi-ethnic urban prospective cohort of mother–infant pairs in New York City recruited between 1998 and 2002 (n = 404) we examined the relation between third trimester maternal urinary levels of dialkylphosphate (ΣDAP) OP metabolites and SRS scores among 136 children who returned for the 7–9 year visit. Overall, there was no association between OPs and SRS scores, although in multivariate adjusted models, associations were heterogeneous by race and by sex. Among blacks, each 10-fold increase in total diethylphosphates (ΣDEP) was associated with poorer social responsiveness (β = 5.1 points, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8, 9.4). There was no association among whites or Hispanics, or for total ΣDAP or total dimethylphosphate (ΣDMP) biomarker levels. Additionally, stratum-specific models supported a stronger negative association among boys for ΣDEPs (β = 3.5 points, 95% CI 0.2, 6.8), with no notable association among girls. Our results support an association of prenatal OP exposure with deficits in social functioning among blacks and among boys, although this may be in part reflective of differences in exposure patterns.
    Environment International. 01/2014; 70:125–131.
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are widespread and persistent environmental pollutants. Previous studies, primarily among non-pregnant individuals, suggest positive associations between PFAS levels and certain blood lipids. If there is a causal link between PFAS concentrations and elevated lipids during pregnancy, this may suggest a mechanism by which PFAS exposure leads to certain adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preeclampsia. This cross-sectional analysis included 891 pregnant women enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child (MoBa) Cohort Study in 2003-2004. Non-fasting plasma samples were obtained at mid-pregnancy and analyzed for nineteen PFASs. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides were measured in plasma. Linear regression was used to quantify associations between each PFAS exposure and each lipid outcome. A multiple PFAS model was also fitted. Seven PFASs were quantifiable in >50% of samples. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) concentration was associated with total cholesterol, which increased 4.2mg/dL per inter-quartile shift (95% CI=0.8, 7.7) in adjusted models. Five of the seven PFASs studied were positively associated with HDL cholesterol, and all seven had elevated HDL associated with the highest quartile of exposure. Perfluoroundecanoic acid showed the strongest association with HDL: HDL increased 3.7mg/dL per inter-quartile shift (95% CI=2.5, 4.9). Plasma concentrations of PFASs were positively associated with HDL cholesterol, and PFOS was positively associated with total cholesterol in this sample of pregnant Norwegian women. While elevated HDL is not an adverse outcome per se, elevated total cholesterol associated with PFASs during pregnancy could be of concern if causal.
    Environment international 11/2013; 62C:104-112. · 6.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammation is implicated in preterm birth, but genetic studies of inflammatory genes have yielded inconsistent results. Maternal DNA from 1,646 participants in the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Cohort, enrolled in Orange and Wake counties, North Carolina (1995-2005), were genotyped for 432 tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 30 candidate genes. Gene-level and SNP associations were modeled within strata of genetic ancestry. Six genes were associated with preterm birth among European Americans: interleukin 12A (IL12A); colony-stimulating factor 2 (CSF2); interferon γ receptor 2 (IFNGR2); killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor, three domain, long cytoplasmic tail, 2 (KIR3DL2); interleukin 4 (IL4); and interleukin 13 (IL13). Of these, relatively strong single-SNP associations were seen in IFNGR2 and KIR3DL2. Among the 4 genes related to natural killer cell function, 2 (IL12A and CSF2) were consistently associated with reduced risk of prematurity for both European and African Americans. SNPs tagging a locus control region for IL4 and IL13 were associated with an increased risk of spontaneous preterm birth for European Americans (rs3091307; risk ratio = 1.9; 95% confidence interval: 1.4, 2.5). Although gene-level associations were detected only in European Americans, single-SNP associations among European and African Americans were often similar in direction, though estimated with less precision among African Americans. In conclusion, we identified novel associations between variants in the natural killer cell immune pathway and prematurity in this biracial US population.
    American journal of epidemiology 08/2013; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal urinary biomarkers are often used to assess fetal exposure to phenols and their precursors. Their effectiveness as a measure of exposure in epidemiological studies depends on their variability during pregnancy and their ability to accurately predict fetal exposure. We assessed the relationship between urinary and amniotic fluid concentrations of nine environmental phenols, and the reproducibility of urinary concentrations, among pregnant women. Seventy-one women presenting for amniocentesis were included. Maternal urine was collected at the time of the amniocentesis appointment and on two subsequent occasions. Urine and amniotic fluid were analyzed for 2,4- and 2,5-dichlorophenols, bisphenol A, benzophenone-3, triclosan, and methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butyl-parabens using online solid phase extraction-high performance liquid chromatography-isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry. Only benzophenone-3 and propylparaben were detectable in more than half of the amniotic fluid samples; for these phenols, concentrations in amniotic fluid and maternal urine collected on the same day were positively correlated (ρ = 0.53 and 0.32, respectively). Other phenols were detected infrequently in amniotic fluid (e.g., bisphenol A was detected in only two samples). The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) of urinary concentrations in samples from individual women ranged from 0.48 and 0.62 for all phenols except bisphenol A (ICC = 0.11). Amniotic fluid detection frequencies for most phenols were low. The reproducibility of urine measures was poor for bisphenol A, but good for the other phenols. Although a single sample may provide a reasonable estimate of exposure for some phenols, collecting multiple urine samples during pregnancy is an option to reduce exposure measurement error in studies regarding the effects of phenol prenatal exposure on health.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 08/2013; · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined social, demographic, and behavioral predictors of specific forms of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy in New York State. Administrative data on 2.3 million births over the period 1995-2004 were available for New York State, USA, with linkage to birth certificate data for New York City (964,071 births). ICD-9 hospital discharge diagnosis codes were used to assign hypertensive disorders hierarchically as chronic hypertension, chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia, preeclampsia (eclampsia/severe or mild), or gestational hypertension. Sociodemographic and behavioral predictors of these outcomes were examined separately for upstate New York and New York City by calculating adjusted odds ratios. The most commonly diagnosed conditions were preeclampsia (2.57 % of upstate New York births, 3.68 % of New York City births) and gestational hypertension (2.46 % of upstate births, 1.42 % of New York City births). Chronic hypertension was much rarer. Relative to non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics in New York City and Black women in all regions had markedly increased risks for all hypertensive disorders, whereas Asian women were at consistently decreased risk. Pregnancy-associated conditions decreased markedly with parity and modestly among smokers. A strong positive association was found between pre-pregnancy weight and risk of hypertensive disorders, with slightly weaker associations among Blacks and stronger associations among Asians. While patterns of chronic and pregnancy-induced hypertensive disorders differed, the predictors of gestational hypertension and both mild and severe preeclampsia were similar to one another. The increased risk for Black and some Hispanic women warrants clinical consideration, and the markedly increased risk with greater pre-pregnancy weight suggests an opportunity for primary prevention among all ethnic groups.
    Maternal and Child Health Journal 06/2013; · 2.24 Impact Factor
  • Stephanie M Engel, Mary S Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: Substantial population exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, combined with available biomarkers and public concern, has resulted in an explosion of human health effects research. At the same time, remarkable shifts in the regulations governing the composition of some consumer products that contain endocrine disruptors (EDs) has occurred. However, important questions remain as to the weight of evidence linking EDs to human health end points. In this review, we critically examine the literature linking ED exposures to child neurodevelopment, focusing in particular on two model exposures to demonstrate issues related to bioaccumulative [e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)] and rapidly metabolized (e.g., phthalates) compounds, respectively. Issues of study design, confounding, and exposure measurement are considered. Given widespread exposure to these compounds, the potential public health consequences of even small effects on human health are substantial. Therefore, advancing our understanding of any impact calls for careful attention to the principles of causal inference.
    Annual Review of Public Health 03/2013; 34:139-58. · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Joint testing for the cumulative effect of multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms grouped on the basis of prior biological knowledge has become a popular and powerful strategy for the analysis of large-scale genetic association studies. The kernel machine (KM)-testing framework is a useful approach that has been proposed for testing associations between multiple genetic variants and many different types of complex traits by comparing pairwise similarity in phenotype between subjects to pairwise similarity in genotype, with similarity in genotype defined via a kernel function. An advantage of the KM framework is its flexibility: choosing different kernel functions allows for different assumptions concerning the underlying model and can allow for improved power. In practice, it is difficult to know which kernel to use a priori because this depends on the unknown underlying trait architecture and selecting the kernel which gives the lowest p-value can lead to inflated type I error. Therefore, we propose practical strategies for KM testing when multiple candidate kernels are present based on constructing composite kernels and based on efficient perturbation procedures. We demonstrate through simulations and real data applications that the procedures protect the type I error rate and can lead to substantially improved power over poor choices of kernels and only modest differences in power vs. using the best candidate kernel.
    Genetic Epidemiology 03/2013; · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: The inverse association between prenatal smoking and preeclampsia is puzzling, given the increased risks of prematurity and low birthweight associated with both smoking and preeclampsia. We analyzed the Norwegian Mother and Child Birth Cohort (MoBa) to determine whether the associations varied by timing of prenatal smoking. METHODS:: We conducted an analysis of 74,439 singleton pregnancies with completed second- and third- trimester questionnaires. Active and passive smoke exposure by trimester were determined by maternal self-report, and covered the period of preconception through approximately 30 weeks' gestation. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. RESULTS:: Rates of active smoking declined dramatically during pregnancy: for trimester 1, 23%; trimester 2, 9%; and trimester 3, 8%. Active smoking in the third trimester was associated with reduced odds of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, with the strongest association among continuous smokers (for preeclampsia, OR = 0.57 [95% CI = 0.46-0.70]). Women who quit smoking before the third trimester had approximately the same risk of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension as nonsmokers. There was some evidence of dose-response, with the heaviest smokers (more than eight cigarettes per day) having the lowest risks of preeclampsia (0.48 [0.32-0.73]) and gestational hypertension (0.51 [0.28-0.95]). There was little evidence of an association with passive smoking exposure. CONCLUSION:: The association between smoking and preeclampsia varies substantially according to the timing and intensity of exposure. A better understanding of the biologic pathways that underlie these associations may provide important clues to the etiology of preeclampsia and the development of effective clinical interventions.
    Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) 02/2013; · 5.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Influenza infection is a major public health burden worldwide. Available vaccines include the inactivated intramuscular trivalent vaccine and, more recently, a live attenuated intranasal vaccine (LAIV). The measure of successful vaccination with the inactivated vaccine is a systemic rise in IgG but for the LAIV no such correlate has been established.Methods. Seventy nine subjects were given the live, attenuated intranasal influenza vaccine FluMist. Blood was collected prior to vaccination and 3 days and 30 days post-vaccine. Nasal wash was collected 3 days and 30 days post-vaccine. Responses were measured systemically and in mucosal secretions for cytokines, cell activation profiles and antibody responses.Results. Only 9% of subjects who received LAIV seroconverted, while 33% of patients developed at least a two-fold increase in influenza specific IgA antibodies in nasal wash. LAIV induced a localized inflammation as suggested by increased expression of interferon response genes in mucosal RNA and increased G-CSF and IP10 in nasal wash. Interestingly, patients who seroconverted had significantly lower pre-vaccine serum G-CSF.Conclusions. Protection by LAIV is likely provided through mucosal IgA and not by increases in systemic IgG. LAIV induces local inflammation. Seroconversion is achieved in a small fraction of subjects with lower serum G-CSF.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2012; · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extent to which polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) are detectable in amniotic fluid is unknown. Using paired samples from 28 women, we compared the concentration of 8 PFCs measured in serum, the standard matrix for assessing human exposure, amniotic fluid from routine amniocentesis, and urine. Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorononanoate (PFNA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) were detected in all maternal serum samples. The number of amniotic fluid samples with detectable concentrations differed by PFC (PFOA n=24; PFNA n=10; PFOS n=9; PFHxS n=4). The correlation coefficient between maternal serum and amniotic PFC levels varied considerably by PFC (PFOA ρ=0.64, p<0.001; PFNA ρ=0.05, p=0.9; PFOS ρ=0.76, p=0.01; PFHxS ρ=0.80, p=0.2). Using linear regression, PFOA appeared to be commonly detected in amniotic fluid if the serum concentration exceeded approximately 1.5 ng/mL whereas PFOS was rarely detected in amniotic fluid until the serum concentration was about 5.5 ng/mL. No PFCs were detected in urine.
    Reproductive Toxicology 05/2012; 34(3):312-6. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • Stephanie M. Engel, Mary S. Wolff
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    ABSTRACT: Substantial population exposure to endocrine disrupting (ED) chemicals, combined with available biomarkers and public concern, has resulted in an explosion of human health effects research. At the same time, remarkable shifts in the regulations governing the composition of some consumer products that contain EDs has occurred. However, important questions remain as to the weight of evidence linking ED exposures to human health endpoints. In this review, we critically examine the literature linking ED exposures to child neurodevelopment, focusing in particular on two model exposures to demonstrate issues related to bioaccumulative (e.g. PCB) and rapidly metabolized (e.g. phthalates) compounds. Issues of study design, confounding, and exposure measurement are considered. Given widespread exposure to these compounds, the potential public health consequences of even small effects on human health are substantial. Therefore, advancing our understanding of any impact calls for careful attention to the principles ...
    05/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Environmental factors influencing the developmental origins of health and disease need to be identified and investigated. In utero exposure to tobacco smoke has been associated with obesity and a small increase in blood pressure in children; however, whether there is a corresponding increased risk of conditions such as diabetes and hypertension during adulthood remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to assess the association of self-reported in utero exposure to tobacco smoke with the prevalence of obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in women 14-47 years of age. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, which enrolled pregnant women in Norway from 1999 thorough 2008. Exposure to tobacco smoke in utero (yes vs. no) was ascertained on the baseline questionnaire (obtained at ~ 17 weeks' gestation); the outcomes were ascertained from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway and the questionnaire. Our analysis included 74,023 women. RESULTS: Women exposed to tobacco smoke in utero had 1.53 times the odds of obesity [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.45, 1.61] relative to those unexposed, after adjusting for age, education, and personal smoking. After further adjustment for body mass index, the odds ratio for hypertension was 1.68 (95% CI: 1.19, 2.39); for T2DM 1.14 (95% CI: 0.79, 1.65); and for GDM 1.32 (95% CI: 1.10, 1.58) among exposed compared with unexposed. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to tobacco smoke in utero was associated with obesity, hypertension, and GDM in adult women. The possibility that the associations were attributable to unmeasured confounding cannot be excluded.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 03/2012; 120:355-60. · 7.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate the effects of gestational age and other maternal factors on immunologic responses to influenza vaccination. Antepartum and postpartum women receiving influenza vaccination as part of routine clinical care were enrolled through four consecutive vaccination seasons (starting October 2006 through January 2010). Immunologic responses to trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine and monovalent H1N1 were assessed as well as factors influencing vaccine responsiveness. Serum samples were obtained at baseline and 4-8 weeks postvaccination. Two hundred thirty-nine participants were included in the current analysis. Seroconversion rates to trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine strains were lowest in the first trimester (54.8%) and immediately postpartum (54.8%) and were highest in the late third trimester (69.6%) and late postpartum (69.4%); these differences were not statistically significant (P=.23). In a multivariable model, higher baseline antibody levels (P<.001) and prior year flu vaccination (P=.03) were both significantly associated with reduced odds of seroconversion. Overall, results were consistent when comparing trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine and monovalent pandemic H1N1 responses. Although there was overall no significant association between gestational age at vaccination (P=.23) or prepregnancy body mass index (P=.16), we observed somewhat lower rates of seroconversion for women vaccinated in the first trimester and for obese women. Adequate immunologic responses to inactivated influenza vaccines were demonstrated during pregnancy and the postpartum period. No diminution of immunogenicity was observed in the third trimester, a time of increased clinical vulnerability to influenza.
    Obstetrics and Gynecology 03/2012; 119(3):631-9. · 4.80 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

894 Citations
179.02 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2014
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Department of Epidemiology
      North Carolina, United States
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Branch of Epidemiology (EPI)
      Bethesda, MD, United States
  • 2013
    • University of Grenoble
      Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • 2012
    • Brown University
      • Department of Epidemiology
      Providence, RI, United States
  • 2005–2012
    • Mount Sinai School of Medicine
      • Department of Preventive Medicine
      Manhattan, NY, United States