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Title: Prenatal metal mixtures and sex-specific infant negative affectivity.

Authors: Cowell, Whitney; Colicino, Elena; Levin-Schwartz, Yuri; Enlow, Michelle Bosquet; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra; Andra, Syam S; Gennings, Chris; Wright, Robert O; Wright, Rosalind J

Published In Environ Epidemiol, (2021 Apr)

Abstract: Prenatal exposure to metals has been associated with a range of adverse neurocognitive outcomes; however, associations with early behavioral development are less well understood. We examined joint exposure to multiple co-occurring metals in relation to infant negative affect, a stable temperamental trait linked to psychopathology among children and adults. METHODS: Analyses included 308 mother-infant pairs enrolled in the PRISM pregnancy cohort. We measured As, Ba, Cd, Cs, Cr, Pb, and Sb in urine, collected on average during late pregnancy, by ICP-MS. At age 6 months, we assessed negative affect using the Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised. We used Weighted Quantile Sum (WQS) regression with repeated holdout validation to estimate the joint association between the metals and global negative affectivity, as well as four subdomains (Fear, Sadness, Distress to Limitations, and Falling Reactivity). We also tested for a sex interaction with estimated stratified weights. RESULTS: In adjusted models, urinary metals were associated with higher scores on the Fear scale (βWQS = 0.20, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.09, 0.30), which captures behavioral inhibition, characterized by startle or distress to sudden changes in the environment and inhibited approach to novelty. We observed a significant sex interaction (95% CI for the cross-product term: -0.19, -0.01), and stratified weights showed girls (61.6%) contributed substantially more to the mixture effect compared with boys (38.4%). Overall, Ba contributed the greatest mixture weight (22.5%), followed by Cs (14.9%) and As (14.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal exposure to metals was associated with increased infant scores on the temperamental domain of fear, with girls showing particular sensitivity.Key words: Prenatal; Metals; Mixtures; Temperament; Infancy; Negative affect.

PubMed ID: 33870019 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

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