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Your Environment. Your Health.


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Principal Investigator: Minguez Alarcon, Lidia
Institute Receiving Award Brigham And Women'S Hospital
Location Boston, MA
Grant Number R01ES033651
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 05 Jul 2022 to 30 Apr 2027
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): ABSTRACT Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among U.S. women, accounting for approximately 1 of every 3 female deaths. Cumulative evidence has identified pregnancy complications as well as fertility measures, as CVD risk factors. However, there is very limited knowledge on the impact of environmental exposures during pregnancy and both short and long-term maternal cardiovascular and metabolic health. Environmental chemicals with potential cardiometabolic impact include phthalates and organophosphate (OP) flame retardants, which widespread use leads to ubiquitous general population exposure. Experimental studies demonstrated that both phthalates and OP flame retardants bind to human peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), a master nuclear receptor that is involved in lipid metabolism regulation. Among subfertile women enrolled in the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study, we observed worse pregnancy outcomes, including decreased live birth rates, increased pregnancy loss and elevated glucose levels during pregnancy, with increasing urinary concentrations of phthalate and/or OP flame retardant metabolites. However, it is unstudied whether phthalate and OP flame retardant exposure during pregnancy is associated with long-term (midlife) maternal cardiovascular and metabolic health. We propose to evaluate associations of preconception, pregnancy and midlife urinary phthalate and OP flame retardant metabolite concentrations (individually and as a mixture) with long-term cardiometabolic health (anthropometry, glucose and lipid metabolism, blood pressure and inflammatory biomarkers). We will also identify the most important window(s) of exposure associated with cardiometabolic health, evaluate the joint and interactive effects of urinary metabolite concentrations and modifiable lifestyle risk factors for CVD (BMI, diet, physical activity, smoking) with cardiometabolic health, and investigate trajectories of cardiovascular health outcomes from pregnancy to midlife. We embed our proposal within the EARTH Study (2004-2021), a cohort of subfertile couples attending a single fertility center to identify environmental predictors of reproductive health. Strengths of EARTH Study include collection of urine samples both before and during pregnancy and its comprehensive and rich database of covariates. We will contact and re-enroll former female EARTH participants who will provide additional urine samples comprising the midlife window of exposure for phthalate and OP flame retardant metabolites and we will assess their current health status. Women with impaired fertility are at higher risk of CVD, thus this proposal provides an exceptional opportunity to explore cardiovascular and metabolic health among women within the well-established EARTH Study, which so far, has focused on fertility, pregnancy and offspring outcomes. Results from the proposed series of investigations will inform clinical care for women from the reproductive years through midlife, CVD guidelines regarding screening and long-term follow-up, and future research priorities.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 66 - Female Reproduction
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Abee Boyles
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