Brenda Eskenazi's research while affiliated with University of California, Berkeley and other places

Publications (571)

Article
Background Prenatal pesticide exposure has been associated with poorer neurodevelopment during childhood, which could lead to greater risk-taking behaviors and delinquency in adolescence. This association may be augmented by adversity exposure. Objectives Evaluate the relationship between prenatal pesticide exposure and risk-taking behavior in you...
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Background: Obesity predominantly affects populations in high-income countries and those countries facing epidemiological transition. The risk of childhood obesity is increased among infants who had overweight or obesity at birth, but in low-resource settings one in five infants are born small for gestational age. We aimed to study the relationshi...
Article
Gestational age (GA) is an important determinant of child health and disease risk. Two epigenetic GA clocks have been developed using DNA methylation (DNAm) patterns in cord blood. We investigate the accuracy of GA clocks and determinants of epigenetic GA acceleration (GAA), a biomarker of biological ageing. We hypothesize that prenatal and birth c...
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Rapid nucleic acid testing is central to infectious disease surveillance. Here, we report an assay for rapid COVID-19 testing and its implementation in a prototype microfluidic device. The assay, which we named DISCoVER (for diagnostics with coronavirus enzymatic reporting), involves extraction-free sample lysis via shelf-stable and low-cost reagen...
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Despite the fact that several cases of unsafe pesticide use among farmers in different parts of Africa have been documented, there is limited evidence regarding which specific interventions are effective in reducing pesticide exposure and associated risks to human health and ecology. The overall goal of the African Pesticide Intervention Project (A...
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Importance: Phthalate exposure is widespread among pregnant women and may be a risk factor for preterm birth. Objective: To investigate the prospective association between urinary biomarkers of phthalates in pregnancy and preterm birth among individuals living in the US. Design, setting, and participants: Individual-level data were pooled from...
Article
Epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) are widely implemented in epidemiology, and the Illumina HumanMethylationEPIC BeadChip (EPIC) DNA microarray is the most-used technology. Recently, next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based methods, which assess DNA methylation at single-base resolution, have become more affordable and technically feasible. Wh...
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Hypospadias is the ectopic opening of the urethra on the penis or scrotum. Exposure to estrogenic and/or anti-androgenic chemicals in utero may play an etiologic role. DDT and the pyrethroids cypermethrin and deltamethrin, are used to control malaria. DDT is estrogenic and its breakdown product DDE is anti-androgenic; cypermethrin and deltamethrin...
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Background Half the world's population is at risk for malaria. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides has been effective in controlling malaria, yet the potential neurotoxicity of these insecticides is of concern, particularly for infants exposed in utero. Objectives To determine the association of prenatal exposure to DDT/DDE and pyreth...
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Substance use increases throughout adolescence, and earlier substance use may increase risk for poorer health. However, limited research has examined whether stress responses relate to adolescent substance use, especially among adolescents from ethnic minority and high-adversity backgrounds. The present study assessed whether blunted emotional and...
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We investigated whether parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system responses to social‐evaluative threat at age 14 were related to the number of substances used between ages 14 and 16 among Mexican‐origin adolescents (N=243; 70.4% had never used substances by 14). Participants completed the Trier Social Stress Test, while cardiac measures of pa...
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This study aimed to assess pesticide exposure and its determinants in children aged 5–14 years. Urine samples (n = 953) were collected from 501 participating children living in urban areas (participant n = 300), rural areas but not on a farm (n = 76), and living on a farm (n = 125). The majority provided two samples, one in the high and one in the...
Article
Background Epidemiological studies suggest that exposure to p,p’-dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (p,p’-DDT) is associated with poorer cognitive function in children and adolescents, but the neural mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. Objective We investigated associations of prenatal and childhood exposure to p,p’-DDT and its m...
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Background The effect of COVID-19 in pregnancy on maternal outcomes and its association with preeclampsia and gestational diabetes has been reported; however, a detailed understanding of the effect of maternal positivity, delivery mode and perinatal practices on fetal and neonatal outcomes is urgently needed. Objective To evaluate the impact of CO...
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Cognitive skills are a strong predictor of a wide range of later life outcomes. Genetic and epigenetic associations across the genome explain some of the variation in general cognitive abilities in the general population and it is plausible that epigenetic associations might arise from prenatal environmental exposures and/or genetic variation early...
Article
Background: Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) or pyrethroid insecticides are sprayed inside dwellings for malaria vector control, resulting in high exposure to millions of people, including pregnant women. These chemicals disrupt endocrine function and may affect child growth. To our knowledge, few studies have investigated the potential impac...
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Objectives: . To examine the mental health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latino farmworkers in California. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of adult farmworkers (n=1,115) between July 16 and November 30, 2020. We collected information via phone interviews. We used the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 and the Generali...
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Background Among children, sex-specific differences in disease prevalence, age of onset, and susceptibility have been observed in health conditions including asthma, immune response, metabolic health, some pediatric and adult cancers, and psychiatric disorders. Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation may play a role in the sexual differenc...
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As part of malaria control programs, many countries spray dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) or pyrethroid insecticides inside dwellings in a practice called indoor residual spraying that results in high levels of exposure to local populations. Gestational exposure to these endocrine- and metabolism-disrupting chemicals may influence child cardi...
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Introduction Previous studies show evidence for associations of prenatal exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides with poorer childhood neurodevelopment. As children grow older, poorer cognition, executive function, and school performance can give rise to risk-taking behaviors, including substance abuse, delinquency, and violent acts. We investi...
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Background: Among nonpregnant individuals, diabetes mellitus and high body mass index increase the risk of COVID-19 and its severity. Objective: This study aimed to determine whether diabetes mellitus and high body mass index are risk factors for COVID-19 in pregnancy and whether gestational diabetes mellitus is associated with COVID-19 diagnosis....
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Abstract Background: Adolescent mothers in the United States experience disproportionately lower rates of breastfeeding compared to older mothers. Evidence suggests that paternal support helps improve breastfeeding outcomes; however, support is difficult to quantify. Parental cohabitation is easy to identify and could be used to quantify paternal s...
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Emerging research suggests associations of physical and psychosocial stressors with epigenetic aging. Although this work has included early-life exposures, data on maternal exposures and epigenetic aging of their children remain sparse. Using longitudinally collected data from the California, Salinas Valley CHAMACOS study, we examined relationships...
Article
Background Among non-pregnant individuals, diabetes mellitus (DM) and high body mass index (BMI) increase the risk of Covid-19 and its severity. Objective To determine whether DM and high BMI are risk factors for Covid-19 in pregnancy and whether gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is also associated with covid-19 diagnosis. Study Design INTERCOV...
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Resumen En el 2019, en seguimiento a un taller dirigido por el Global Health Studies del Fogarty International Center sobre el tema de la prevención de la obesidad infantil y las sinergias de investigación que surgen a través de las colaboraciones transfronterizas, convocamos a un grupo de expertos de Estados Unidos y Latinoamérica para que realiza...
Preprint
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Introduction: Previous studies show evidence for associations of prenatal exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides with poorer childhood neurodevelopment. As children grow older, poorer cognition and executive function can give rise to risk-taking behaviors, including substance abuse, delinquency, and violent acts. We investigated whether prenat...
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Full-text available
Importance Essential workers in agriculture and food production have been severely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Objective To identify risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection among farmworkers in California. Design, Setting, and Participants This cross-sectional study invited farmworkers in California’s Salinas Valley (Mont...
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Early life exposures have been associated with obesity later in life. We aim to assess the association between early life exposure to food insecurity and change in BMI throughout childhood and adolescents. Food security status and growth variables from 243 Mother–child dyads from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salin...
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Background Studies have documented independent adverse associations between prenatal and early-life exposure to environmental chemicals and social adversity with child neurodevelopment; however, few have considered these exposures jointly. The objective of this analysis is to examine whether associations of pesticide mixtures and adolescent neurobe...
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Why was this study conducted? It is unclear whether the suggested association between COVID-19 during pregnancy and preeclampsia is independent of common risk factors. This study aimed to quantify any independent association between COVID-19 during pregnancy and preeclampsia and to determine key related pregnancy outcomes and maternal and neonatal...
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The prefrontal cortex directs higher-order cognitive and behavioral processes important for attention, working memory, and inhibitory control. We investigated whether gestational exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides was associated with these abilities in childhood and early adolescence. We enrolled pregnant women between 1999-2000 in a birth...
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Background: Studies suggest that exposure to pesticides during pregnancy and early childhood is associated with adverse child neurodevelopment. Research to date has focused primarily on exposure to single pesticides or pesticide classes in isolation; there are little data on the effect of exposure to pesticide mixtures on child and adolescent neuro...
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Background Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and disparities among racial and ethnic groups persist. While etiologies of preterm birth have not been fully elucidated, it is probable that environmental and social factors play a role. Objective We hypothesized that there is an interactive association...
Article
Human milk optimizes gut microbial richness and diversity, and is critical for proper immune development. Research has shown differing microbial composition based on geographic location, providing evidence that diverse biospecimen data is needed when studying human bacterial communities. Yet, limited research describes human milk and infant gut mic...
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Public health measures necessary to counteract the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in dramatic changes in the physical and social environments within which children grow and develop. As our understanding of the pathways for viral exposure and associated health outcomes in children evolves, it is critical to consider how c...
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Secular trends in earlier initiation of puberty have been observed in recent decades. One risk factor appears to be increases in adiposity, as measured by body mass index. This trend is particularly notable among Latino populations, who have higher rates of overweight/obesity compared to non-Latino White youth. Previous research has focused primari...
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Approximately 75% of farmworkers in the United States are Latino migrants, and about 50% of hired farmworkers do not have authorization to work in the United States. Farmworkers face numerous chemical, physical, and biological threats to their health. The adverse effects of these hazards may be amplified among Latino migrant farmworkers, who are co...
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Many observational studies and some randomized trials demonstrate how fetal growth can be influenced by environmental insults (for example, maternal infections)¹ and preventive interventions (for example, multiple-micronutrient supplementation)² that can have a long-lasting effect on health, growth, neurodevelopment and even educational attainment...
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During the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, farmworkers in the United States are considered essential personnel and continue in-person work. We conducted prospective surveillance for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and antibody prevalence among farmworkers in Salinas Valley, California, during...
Article
Background Though prenatal organophosphate pesticide (OP) exposure has been associated with lower intellectual quotient and behavioral disorders in childhood, factors related to later delinquency, no research has directly evaluated the impact of OPs on delinquency. Objective To evaluate the association between prenatal and childhood OP exposure an...
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Full-text available
Exposures to phthalates, parabens, and other phenols are often correlated due to their ubiquitous use in personal care products and plastics. Examining these compounds as a complex mixture may clarify inconsistent relationships between individual chemicals and childhood adiposity. Using data from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and...
Preprint
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Importance: Essential workers in agriculture and food production have been severely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To identify risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 shedding and antibody response in farmworkers in California. Design: This cross-sectional study collected survey data and determined current SARS-CoV-2 shedding...
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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...
Article
Background Phthalates are a group of endocrine disrupting chemicals that are heavily used throughout industry in flexible plastic and personal-care products. As a result, detectable levels of their metabolites are readily found in humans. Some studies have shown associations of phthalates with diabetes, but associations with gestational diabetes me...
Article
Background Persistent household food insecurity may have a greater adverse effect on children's health outcomes than experiencing household food insecurity for a shorter duration. Objectives Examine how changing household food security status and prolonged exposure to household marginal food security or food insecurity are associated with changes...
Preprint
Full-text available
As essential personnel, United States farmworkers have continued working in-person throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We undertook prospective surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 infection and antibody prevalence among farmworkers in California's Salinas Valley from 15 June to 30 November, 2020. Over this period, we observed 22.1% (1514/6864) positivity for...
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Background Spot urine samples are often used to assess exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides in place of “gold standard” 24-hr samples, which are cumbersome to collect. Assessment of non-persistent chemicals using spot urine samples may result in exposure misclassification that could bias epidemiological analyses towards the null. Few studies...
Article
STUDY QUESTION Is there an association between 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) exposure and fecundability and infertility among Seveso women and their daughters? SUMMARY ANSWER TCDD exposure is associated with a decrease in fecundability and increased risk of infertility in women, as well as their daughters. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY In an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives To examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmworkers from Monterey County, California. Methods We recruited adult farmworkers (n=1115) between July 16, 2020 and November 30, 2020. We collected information on sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, economic and social stressors experienced during COVID-19, and willin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cognitive skills are a strong predictor of a wide range of later life outcomes. Genetic and epigenetic associations across the genome explain some of the variation in general cognitive abilities in the general population and it is plausible that epigenetic associations might arise from prenatal environmental exposures and/or genetic variation early...
Article
Prior researchers have observed relations between children's autonomic nervous system reactivity and externalizing behavior problems, but rarely considers the role of developmentally regulated changes in children's stress response systems. Using growth mixture modeling, the present study derived profiles of parasympathetic nervous system reactivity...
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Background DNA methylation has been shown to be associated with adiposity in adulthood. However, whether similar DNA methylation patterns are associated with childhood and adolescent body mass index (BMI) is largely unknown. More insight into this relationship at younger ages may have implications for future prevention of obesity and its related tr...
Article
Background Air pollution exposure is ubiquitous with demonstrated effects on morbidity and mortality. A growing literature suggests that prenatal air pollution exposure impacts neurodevelopment. We posit that the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program will provide unique opportunities to fill critical knowledge gaps given...
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In utero exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is associated with delayed pubertal development in animal studies. No epidemiologic study has investigated this association. We examined the relationship of in utero exposure to TCDD with reported age at onset of menarche in female children born to a unique cohort of TCDD-exposed women...
Article
Latinx adolescents are at a disproportional risk for poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes (STIs, adolescent pregnancy) compared to other ethnic groups. They also report high rates of alcohol and drug use that are similar to non-Hispanic White youth. The hormonal underpinnings of the emergence of sex and substance use behaviors among Latinx...
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Electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) burning and recycling activities have become one of the main emission sources of dioxin-like compounds (DLCs). Workers involved in e-waste recycling operations and residents living near e-waste recycling sites (EWRS) are exposed to high levels of DLCs. Epidemiological and experimental in vivo studies have r...
Article
Transportation cost is a barrier to HIV treatment, yet no studies have examined its association with contraceptive use among women living with HIV. We analyzed cross-sectional data from women attending three public healthcare facilities in Shinyanga, Tanzania where they initiated antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection in the previous 90 days; all...
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The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program is a research initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health that capitalizes on existing cohort studies to investigate the impact of early life environmental factors on child health and development from infancy through adolescence. In the initial stage of the program, ext...
Article
Background Chemicals found in personal care products and plastics have been associated with asthma, allergies, and lung function, but methods to address real life exposure to mixtures of these chemicals have not been applied to these associations. Methods We quantified urinary concentrations of eleven phthalate metabolites, four parabens, and five...
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Epidemiological research, such as the identification of disease risks attributable to environmental chemical exposures, is often hampered by small population effects, large measurement error, and limited a priori knowledge regarding the complex relationships between the many chemicals under study. However, even an ideal study design does not preclu...
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Background: Preterm birth and shorter duration of pregnancy are associated with increased morbidity in neonatal and later life. As the epigenome is known to have an important role during fetal development, we investigated associations between gestational age and blood DNA methylation in children. Methods: We performed meta-analysis of Illumina's...
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Fetal and infant exposures to β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH) occur through placental and breastmilk transfers. No studies have examined the relationship between β-HCH and child intelligence quotient (IQ). This study examined associations between in utero β-HCH exposure and cognitive development in 7-year-old children. Data from women and children...
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Background: Growing evidence suggests that pesticide exposure may influence respiratory health, but data in young children are very limited. We examined the association of prenatal pesticide exposure with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) and wheeze at one year of age in children from the Infants' Environmental Health (ISA) study in Costa...
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Background Most household air pollution (HAP) interventions in developing countries of sub-Saharan Africa have focused on a single source, such as replacing polluting cooking sources with cleaner burning cooking stoves. Such interventions, however, have resulted in insufficient reductions in HAP levels and respiratory health risks in children. In t...