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Principal Investigator: Berger, Kimberly
Institute Receiving Award Sequoia Foundation
Location La Jolla, CA
Grant Number R21ES031715
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 23 Sep 2021 to 28 Feb 2025
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Summary Growing evidence suggests that prenatal environmental exposures play a role in the birth outcomes and health of future generations. While pregnancy exposure to ambient air pollution is related to increased risk of adverse birth outcomes, no studies in human populations have yet estimated the impact on the subsequent generation’s birth outcomes. Our long-term goal is to understand the multigenerational impact of differential pregnancy exposure to air pollution on future generation birth outcomes. Black women and women with lower socioeconomic status in the U.S. have persistent higher prevalence of adverse birth outcomes, and individuals born preterm or term-low birth weight have compromised health across the life-course. Pregnancy exposure to air pollution in a prior generation, along with increased susceptibility experienced by disadvantaged and diverse communities, may therefore contribute to observed birth outcome and lifetime health disparities. Using the largest multigenerational birth cohort in the U.S., this project aims to: 1) quantify the relationship between first generation pregnancy exposure to air pollutants (particulate matter [PM2.5] and nitrogen dioxide [NO2]) and adverse birth outcomes of the third generation, and 2) estimate the contribution of first generation pregnancy exposure to air pollution on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in birth outcomes of the third generation. The multigenerational birth cohort consists of nearly 700,000 California births with geocoded residence information for two generations born 1982-2011. Pregnancies from each generation will be assigned recently-developed historic PM2.5 and NO2 concentrations, and birth data enhanced through linkage to prenatal and newborn screening records and census and meteorological data. Longitudinal marginal models will be used to assess the direct relation of first generation pregnancy air pollution exposure with preterm and term- low birth weight in the third generation. Equitable exposure conditions will be simulated using a stochastic intervention to evaluate change in racial/ethnic and socioeconomic birth outcome disparities under the scenario where disadvantaged groups receive an exposure distribution equal to that of higher socioeconomic status or non-Hispanic white Californians. The proposed research is significant because findings may uncover another pathway by which air pollution influences health, as well as previously unmeasured exposure burden from pregnancy air pollution exposure in a prior generation. The proposed study also has implications for designing public health and environmental justice interventions. By characterizing prior generation exposures in the context of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities, the project provides methods to estimate the long-term impact of exposures among vulnerable populations. Expanding air pollution health effects research to multiple generations could, in the long term, inform calculations of health and equity benefits related to air pollution reductions.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 44 - Developmental Biology/Teratogenesis
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications No publications associated with this grant
Program Officer Abee Boyles
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