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PRENATAL AND EARLY-LIFE BLACK CARBON EXPOSURE AND CHILDHOOD CARDIOMETABOLIC HEALTH

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Principal Investigator: Friedman, Chloe S
Institute Receiving Award University Of Colorado Denver
Location Aurora, CO
Grant Number F31ES034938
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 01 Jan 2023 to 31 Dec 2024
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): PROJECT SUMMARY Child obesity is a major public health challenge. Exposure to environmental chemicals early in life may lead to increased risk for obesity and cardiometabolic health disruption in childhood. Black carbon is a traffic-related air pollutant that is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and early mortality in adults. Very few previous epidemiologic studies have investigated black carbon exposure during early life and childhood obesity and growth outcomes. Accordingly, black carbon remains an understudied, yet widespread exposure with a biologically plausible link to disrupted cardiometabolic homeostasis. We will leverage existing data from the Healthy Start study, a pre-birth cohort of 1,410 pregnant women enrolled 2009-2014 and their offspring followed through age 8 years in the Denver-metropolitan area. Healthy Start has extensively phenotyped participants on biological and anthropometric measures of childhood cardiometabolic health, including precise body composition measures using state-of-the-art air displacement plethysmography, longitudinal measures of body mass index (BMI), and blood biomarkers of metabolic homeostasis including fasting glucose, insulin, lipids, and adipokines. The specific aims are: 1) to estimate associations between prenatal and childhood exposure to black carbon and indicators of adiposity at 4-6 years, 2) to estimate associations between prenatal and childhood exposure to black carbon and offspring cardiometabolic biomarkers at 4-6 years, and 3) to estimate longitudinal associations of prenatal and childhood exposure to black carbon with BMI growth trajectories from 2-8 years. We hypothesize that early-life exposure to black carbon will result in higher risk of adverse cardiometabolic outcomes in children. The results will advance understanding of the impact of black carbon, a specific traffic-related air pollutant, on childhood adiposity and cardiometabolic health. The findings will provide essential information to environmental policy makers responsible for regulating the public’s exposure to air pollution. The Applicant is a productive doctoral student at the University of Colorado- Anschutz Medical Campus, which offers state-of-the-art research facilities, internationally recognized faculty in obesity and diabetes, and a plethora of career development resources for doctoral students. The Applicant has assembled a strong mentorship team that comprises environmental scientists and lifecourse epidemiology experts and developed a comprehensive training plan to build specialized research and analytic skills, including 1) build knowledge in lifecourse epidemiology methods and study design, 2) gain skills in analytic approaches for complex correlated and spatially defined environmental exposures, and 3) develop methodologic expertise in statistical modeling techniques for longitudinal data. Through the completion of the proposed research and training plan, the Applicant will develop the skills necessary to successfully complete the proposed project and to continue on the path towards her career goal of becoming an independent researcher studying the impacts of environmental exposures on chronic diseases across the lifecourse.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 41 - Cardiovascular System
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Bonnie Joubert
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