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Publication Detail

Title: Maternal stress modifies the effect of exposure to lead during pregnancy and 24-month old children's neurodevelopment.

Authors: Tamayo Y Ortiz, Marcela; Téllez-Rojo, Martha María; Trejo-Valdivia, Belem; Schnaas, Lourdes; Osorio-Valencia, Erika; Coull, Brent; Bellinger, David; Wright, Rosalind J; Wright, Robert O

Published In Environ Int, (2017 Jan)

Abstract: Lead and psychosocial stress disrupt similar but not completely overlapping mechanisms. Exposure during the prenatal period to each of these insults singularly has been found to alter normal neurodevelopment; however, longitudinal associations with stress modifying the effect of lead have not been sufficiently analyzed in epidemiologic studies.To evaluate prenatal stress as an effect modifier of gestational lead neurotoxicity.We used a structural equations modeling approach with a trivariate response to evaluate cognitive, language and motor scores of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III in 24month-old children (n=360). Maternal blood lead levels were measured at the 2nd and 3rd trimester and psychosocial stress during pregnancy was assessed using a negative life events (NLE) scale derived from the CRYSIS questionnaire.3rd trimester lead (mean 3.9±3.0 SDμg/dL) and stress (median=3 NLE) were negatively associated with Bayley III scores. Using the model's results we generated profiles for 0, 2, 4 and 6 NLE across lead levels (up to 10μg/dL) and observed a dose-response for the developmental scores when lead levels were below 2μg/dL. Each NLE curve had a different shape across increasing lead levels. Higher stress (NLE=6) resulted in lower cognitive scores for both sexes, in lower language scores in girls but not boys. In the absence of stress we saw a negative association with lead for all scores, however for language and motor scores, higher stress seemed to mask this association.Our work examined and confirmed prenatal stress exposure as a modifier of the well-known neurotoxic effects of prenatal lead. It adds to the existing evidence pointing at the importance of studying the co-exposure of chemical and non-chemical exposures, specifically of considering the emotional environment of children at early developmental stages of life.

PubMed ID: 27865525 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adult; Child Development/drug effects; Child, Preschool; Cognition; Female; Humans; Language Development*; Lead/adverse effects*; Lead/blood; Male; Maternal Exposure*; Motor Skills; Pregnancy; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*; Stress, Psychological*; Surveys and Questionnaires; Young Adult

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