Martine Vrijheid

Martine Vrijheid
Instituto de Salud Global de Barcelona | ISGLOBAL · Child Health and Environment

PhD

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552
Publications
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Publications

Publications (552)
Article
The potential effect of gestational exposure to phthalates on the lung function levels during childhood is unclear. Therefore, we examined this association at different ages (from 4 to 11 years) and over the whole childhood. Specifically, we measured 9 phthalate metabolites (MEP, MiBP, MnBP, MCMHP, MBzP, MEHHP, MEOHP, MECPP, MEHP) in the urine of 6...
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Validated physical activity (PA) questionnaires are crucial for collecting information in large epidemiological studies during childhood. Thus, this study analyzed the validity of a parent-reported PA questionnaire based on the Children’s Leisure Activities Study Survey by accelerometry in European children aged from 6 to 12 years old. We used data...
Preprint
Importance Higher maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) is associated with adverse pregnancy and perinatal outcomes. However, which of these associations are causal remains unclear. Objective To explore the relation of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI with pregnancy and perinatal outcomes by integrating evidence from three different methods (i.e....
Article
Importance: Prenatal exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may increase the risk for liver injury in children; however, human evidence is scarce, and previous studies have not considered potential EDC-mixture effects. Furthermore, the association between prenatal EDC exposure and hepatocellular apoptosis in children has not been studi...
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Background The mechanisms underlying childhood overweight and obesity are poorly known. Here, we investigated the direct and indirect effects of different prenatal exposures on offspring rapid postnatal growth and overweight in childhood, mediated through cord blood metabolites. Additionally, rapid postnatal growth was considered a potential mediat...
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OBJECTIVE Suboptimal nutrition in pregnancy is associated with worse offspring cardiometabolic health. DNA methylation may be an underlying mechanism. We meta-analyzed epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) of maternal dietary glycemic index and load with cord blood DNA methylation. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We calculated maternal glycemic in...
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Background Head circumference is associated with intelligence and tracks from childhood into adulthood. Methods We performed a genome-wide association study meta-analysis and follow-up of head circumference in a total of 29,192 participants between 6 and 30 months of age. Results Seven loci reached genome-wide significance in the combined discove...
Preprint
Background Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality, and is associated with adverse developmental and long-term health outcomes, including several cardio-metabolic risk factors. However, evidence about the association of preterm birth with later body size derives mainly from studies using birth weight as proxy of prem...
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Background: Phthalates are widespread, anti-androgenic chemicals known to alter early development, with possible impact on puberty timing. Aim: To investigate the association of prenatal phthalate exposure with pubertal development in boys and girls. Methods: Urinary metabolites of six different phthalate diesters (DEP, DiBP, DnBP, BBzP, DEHP,...
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Polymorphic genomic inversions are chromosomal variants with intrinsic variability that play important roles in evolution, environmental adaptation, and complex traits. We investigated the DNA methylation patterns of three common human inversions, at 8p23.1, 16p11.2, and 17q21.31 in 1,009 blood samples from children from the Human Early Life Exposo...
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Background: Maternal smoking during pregnancy has adverse health effects on the offspring, including lower birth weight and increased risk for obesity. These outcomes are also influenced by common genetic polymorphisms. We aimed to investigate the combined effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy and genetic predisposition on birth weight and bo...
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Background Urban environmental design is increasingly considered influential for health and wellbeing, but evidence is mostly based on adults and single exposure studies. We evaluated the association between a wide range of urban environment characteristics and health behaviours in childhood. Methods We estimated exposure to 32 urban environment c...
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Background The age at onset of the association between poverty and poor health is not understood. Our hypothesis was that individuals from highest household income (HI), compared to those with lowest HI, will have increased fetal size in the second and third trimester and birth. Methods Second and third trimester fetal ultrasound measurements and...
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Inflammation provides a substrate for mechanisms that underlie the association of maternal diet during pregnancy with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms in childhood. However, no previous study has quantified the proinflammatory potential of maternal diet as a risk factor for ADHD. Thus, we evaluated the association of materna...
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Background: The identification of expression quantitative trait methylation (eQTMs), defined as associations between DNA methylation levels and gene expression, might help the biological interpretation of epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS). We aimed to identify autosomal cis eQTMs in children's blood, using data from 832 children of the Hum...
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Higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet during pregnancy is related to a lower risk of preterm birth and to better offspring cardiometabolic health. DNA methylation may be an underlying biological mechanism. We evaluated whether maternal adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with offspring cord blood DNA methylation.We meta-analysed...
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Background and aim Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals may increase cardiovascular risk from early life, but studies in children have shown inconsistent results, most focused on analysis of single chemicals, and none included measures of micro-vascularization as early preclinical markers. This study aimed to evaluate the association between...
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Exposure to air pollution influences children's health, however, the biological mechanisms underlying these effects are not completely elucidated. We investigated the association between short- and medium-term outdoor air pollution exposure with protein profiles and their link with blood pressure in 1170 HELIX children aged 6–11 years. Different ai...
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Background In utero exposure to bisphenols, widely used in consumer products, may alter lung development and increase the risk of respiratory morbidity in the offspring. However, evidence is scarce and mostly focused on bisphenol A (BPA) only. Objective To examine the associations of in utero exposure to BPA, bisphenol F (BPF), and bisphenol S (BP...
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(1) Background: Lutein and zeaxanthin (L&Z) are essential dietary nutrients that are a crucial component of the human macula, contributing to visual functioning. They easily cross the placental barrier, so that retinal deposition commences during foetal development. This study aims to assess associations between maternal L&Z intake during pregnancy...
Preprint
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The exposome recognizes that individuals are exposed simultaneously to a multitude of different environmental factors and takes a holistic approach to the discovery of etiological factors for disease. However, challenges arise when trying to quantify the health effects of complex exposure mixtures. Analytical challenges include dealing with high di...
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Urinary metabolic profiling is a promising powerful tool to reflect dietary intake and can help understand metabolic alterations in response to diet quality. Here, we used 1H NMR spectroscopy in a multicountry study in European children (1147 children from 6 different cohorts) and identified a common panel of 4 urinary metabolites (hippurate, N-met...
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Introduction The European climate is getting warmer and the impact on childhood health and development is insufficiently understood. Equally, how heat-related health risks can be reduced through nature-based solutions, such as exposure to urban natural environments, is unknown. Green CURe In Outdoor CITY spaces (Green CURIOCITY) will analyse how he...
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Background The urban environment may influence neurodevelopment from conception onwards, but there is no evaluation of the impact of multiple groups of exposures simultaneously. We investigated the association between early-life urban environment and cognitive and motor function in children. Methods We used data from 5403 mother–child pairs from f...
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Developing children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of endocrine disrupting chemicals. We hypothesized that early life exposure to PFASs is associated with poor metabolic health in children. We studied the association between prenatal and postnatal PFASs mixture exposure...
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We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the associations between prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and childhood obesity. We focused on organochlorines (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane [DDT], dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene [DDE], hexachlorobenzene [HCB], and polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]), perfluoroalkyl a...
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Sparse data exist on the complex natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 at the population level. We applied a well-validated multiplex serology test in 5000 participants of a general population study in Catalonia in blood samples collected from end June to mid November 2020. Based on responses to fifteen isotype-antigen combinations, we detected a seroprev...
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Motivation Studying the role of the exposome in human health and its impact on different omic layers requires advanced statistical methods. Many of these methods are implemented in different R and Bioconductor packages, but their use may require strong expertise in R, in writing pipelines and in using new R classes which may not be familiar to non-...
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The early-life exposome influences future health and accelerated biological aging has been proposed as one of the underlying biological mechanisms. We investigated the association between more than 100 exposures assessed during pregnancy and in childhood (including indoor and outdoor air pollutants, built environment, green environments, tobacco sm...
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Background Urban environments are characterised by many factors that may influence children’s lifestyle and increase the risk of childhood obesity, but multiple urban exposures have scarcely been studied. Objective We evaluated the association between multiple urban exposures and childhood obesity outcomes and weight-related behaviours. Methods W...
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Introduction Metabolomics may identify biological pathways predisposing children to the risk of overweight and obesity. In this study, we have investigated the cord blood metabolic signatures of rapid growth in infancy and overweight in early childhood in four European birth cohorts. Methods Untargeted liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry metab...
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Early life stages are vulnerable to environmental hazards and present important windows of opportunity for lifelong disease prevention. This makes early life a relevant starting point for exposome studies. The Advancing Tools for Human Early Lifecourse Exposome Research and Translation (ATHLETE) project aims to develop a toolbox of exposome tools a...
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Objective To investigate the association of estimated all-day and evening whole-brain radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) doses with sleep disturbances and objective sleep measures in preadolescents. Methods We included preadolescents aged 9–12 years from two population-based birth cohorts, the Dutch Generation R Study (n = 974) and the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urinary metabolic profiling is a promising powerful tool to reflect dietary intake and can help understand metabolic alterations in response to diet quality. Here, we used ¹ HNMR spectroscopy in a multi-country study in European children (1147 children from 6 different cohorts) and identified a common panel of 4 urinary metabolites (hippurate, N -m...
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Despite extensive study, the role of air pollution in gestational diabetes remains unclear, and there is limited evidence of the beneficial impact of residential greenness on metabolic dysfunction during pregnancy. We used data from mothers in the Spanish INfancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) Project from 2003–2008. We obtained spatiotemporally resolved...
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Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous heavy metal that originates from both natural and anthropogenic sources and is transformed in the environment to its most toxicant form, methylmercury (MeHg). Recent studies suggest that MeHg exposure can alter epigenetic modifications during embryogenesis. In this study, we examined associations between prenatal MeHg e...
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As part of the Human Biomonitoring for Europe (HBM4EU) initiative a human biomonitoring (HBM) survey is conducted in 21 countries. This survey builds on existing HBM capacity in Europe by aligning national or regional HBM studies. The survey targets 3 age groups (i) children aged 6-11 years, (ii) teenagers aged 12-19 years and (iii) young adults ag...
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Background Environmental exposures in early life influence the development of behavioral outcomes in children, but research has not considered multiple exposures. We therefore aimed to investigate the impact of a broad spectrum of pre- and postnatal environmental exposures on child behavior. Methods and findings We used data from the HELIX (Human...
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Challenges in the assessment of the health effects of the exposome, defined as encompassing all environmental exposures from the prenatal period onwards, include a possibly high rate of false positive signals. It might be overcome using data dimension reduction techniques. Data from the biological layers lying between the exposome and its possible...
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Background Humans are regularly exposed to metals and metalloids present in air, water, food, soil and domestic materials. Most of them can cross the placental barrier and cause adverse impacts on the developing foetus. Objectives To describe the prenatal concentrations of metals and metalloids and to study the associated sociodemographic, environ...
Article
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Overweight, obesity, and accelerated growth during early childhood have been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes in later life. Few studies have assessed whether trajectories of accelerated growth in early childhood are associated with preclinical cardiovascular...
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Background Multiple omics technologies are increasingly applied to detect early, subtle molecular responses to environmental stressors for future disease risk prevention. However, there is an urgent need for further evaluation of stability and variability of omics profiles in healthy individuals, especially during childhood. Methods We aimed to es...
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DNA methylation profiles of aggressive behavior may capture lifetime cumulative effects of genetic, stochastic, and environmental influences associated with aggression. Here, we report the first large meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) of aggressive behavior ( N = 15,324 participants). In peripheral blood samples of 14,434 p...
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Background Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has been linked to cardiometabolic (CM) risk factors in childhood, but there are no studies evaluating the persistence of these associations into adolescence, a period of relevant changes in endocrine-dependent organ systems and rapid increases in lean and fat mass. We examined th...
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most prevalent pediatric chronic liver disease. Experimental studies suggest effects of air pollution and traffic exposure on liver injury. We present the first large-scale human study to evaluate associations of prenatal and childhood air pollution and traffic exposure with liver injury. Methods: Study pop...
Preprint
Environmental exposures during early life play a critical role in life-course health, yet the molecular phenotypes underlying environmental effects on health are poorly understood. In the Human Early Life Exposome (HELIX) project, a multi-centre cohort of 1,301 mother-child pairs, we associated individual exposomes consisting of >100 chemical, phys...
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Background Ambient air pollution may play a role in childhood obesity development, but evidence is scarce, and the modifying role of socioeconomic status (SES) is unclear. We aimed to examine the association between exposure to air pollution during early childhood and subsequent risk of developing overweight and obesity, and to evaluate whether SES...
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The Horizon2020 LifeCycle Project is a cross-cohort collaboration which brings together data from multiple birth cohorts from across Europe and Australia to facilitate studies on the influence of early-life exposures on later health outcomes. A major product of this collaboration has been the establishment of a FAIR (findable, accessible, interoper...
Article
Epidemiological studies mostly focus on single environmental exposures. This study aims to systematically assess associations between a wide range of prenatal and childhood environmental exposures and cognition. The study sample included data of 1,298 mother-child pairs, children were 6-11 years-old, from six European birth cohorts. We measured 87...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sparse data exist on the complex natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 at the population level. We applied a well-validated multiplex serology test in 5000 participants of a general population study in Catalonia in blood samples collected from end June to mid November 2020. We detected a seroprevalence of 18.1% in adults (n=4740), and modeled extrapolatio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sparse data exist on the complex natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 at the population level. We applied a well-validated multiplex serology test in 5000 participants of a general population study in Catalonia in blood samples collected from end June to mid November 2020. Based on responses to fifteen isotype-antigen combinations, we detected a seroprev...
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Full-text available
Background and aims: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most prevalent cause of liver disease in children. Mercury (Hg), a ubiquitous toxic metal, has been proposed as an environmental factor contributing to toxicant-associated fatty liver disease. Approach and results: We investigated the effect of prenatal exposure to Hg on childh...
Article
Effects of mercury on maturing immune system have been reported, however the association with respiratory and allergy problems during infancy remains unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between pre and postnatal mercury exposure and respiratory and allergy problems among preschool children and to examine the role of potent...
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Background Little is known about radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF) from mobile technology and resulting dose in young people. We describe modeled integrated RF dose in European children and adolescents combining own mobile device use and surrounding sources. Methods Using an integrated RF model, we estimated the daily RF dose in the brain...
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Background Accumulating evidence links paternal adiposity in the periconceptional period to offspring health outcomes. DNA methylation has been proposed as a mediating mechanism, but very few studies have explored this possibility in humans. Methods In the Pregnancy And Childhood Epigenetics (PACE) consortium, we conducted a meta-analysis of coord...
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We assessed the association between the use of lower- and higher-than-recommended doses of folic acid supplements (FAs) during pregnancy and attentional function in boys and girls at age of 4–5. We analyzed data from 1329 mother-child pairs from the mother-child cohort INfancia y Medio Ambiente Project (INMA) study. Information on FAs use during pr...