Special Issue "Early Childhood Health Effects of Prenatal Exposures in Low and Middle Income Countries"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Toxicology and Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2022) | Viewed by 3689

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Eric S. Coker
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Global Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA
Interests: perinatal health; children's health; environmental epidemiology; air pollution; exposure science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The prenatal period is a sensitive time of development that can influence an individual’s health trajectory. Accumulating epidemiologic data from higher income countries demonstrates that exposure to environmental pollutants during the prenatal period can have deleterious health effects in early childhood. Meanwhile, low and middle income countries (LMICs) are disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution, yet too few studies have investigated the health effects of prenatal exposures in LMICs. Since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have placed a greater emphasis on the growing problem of environmental pollution in lower-income developing countries, there has been recent momentum in global health towards gaining a better understanding of the effects of environmental pollution in the developing world. In this Special Issue, we aim to highlight original research or review articles that specifically address prenatal exposures and early childhood health effects in LMICs. Suggested original research articles conducted among LMIC populations may be exposure assessment studies in the prenatal period or epidemiology studies evaluating prenatal exposures and effects during the postnatal (early childhood) period. A Special Issue on this topic will help reveal recent findings in understudied, vulnerable populations while further identifying key gaps in our understanding of the public health impacts of prenatal exposure to environmental pollutants in LMICs.

I look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Eric S. Coker
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • low- and middle-income countries
  • prenatal exposure
  • children’s health
  • sustainable development goals

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Prenatal Exposure to Ambient PM2.5 and Early Childhood Growth Impairment Risk in East Africa
Toxics 2022, 10(11), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10110705 - 18 Nov 2022
Viewed by 724
Abstract
Height for age is an important and widely used population-level indicator of children’s health. Morbidity trends show that stunting in young children is a significant public health concern. Recent studies point to environmental factors as an understudied area of child growth failure in [...] Read more.
Height for age is an important and widely used population-level indicator of children’s health. Morbidity trends show that stunting in young children is a significant public health concern. Recent studies point to environmental factors as an understudied area of child growth failure in Africa. Data on child measurements of height-for-age and confounders were obtained from fifteen waves of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) for six countries in East Africa. Monthly ambient PM2.5 concentration data was retrieved from the Atmospheric Composition Analysis Group (ACAG) global surface PM2.5 estimates and spatially integrated with DHS data. Generalized additive models with linear and logistic regression were used to estimate the exposure-response relationship between prenatal PM2.5 and height-for-age and stunting among children under five in East Africa (EA). Fully adjusted models showed that for each 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration there is a 0.069 (CI: 0.097, 0.041) standard deviation decrease in height-for-age and 9% higher odds of being stunted. Our study identified ambient PM2.5 as an environmental risk factor for lower height-for-age among young children in EA. This underscores the need to address emissions of harmful air pollutants in EA as adverse health effects are attributable to ambient PM2.5 air pollution. Full article
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Article
Testing the Limit: Evaluating Drinking Water Arsenic Regulatory Levels Based on Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Bangladesh
Toxics 2022, 10(10), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10100600 - 11 Oct 2022
Viewed by 646
Abstract
(1) Background: Arsenic (As) is a common drinking water contaminant that is regulated as a carcinogen. Yet, As is a systemic toxicant and there is considerable epidemiological data showing As adversely impacts reproductive health. This study used data from a birth cohort in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Arsenic (As) is a common drinking water contaminant that is regulated as a carcinogen. Yet, As is a systemic toxicant and there is considerable epidemiological data showing As adversely impacts reproductive health. This study used data from a birth cohort in Bangladesh (2008–2011) to examine associations between drinking water As levels and reproductive outcomes. (2) Methods: Pregnant individuals (n = 1597) were enrolled at <16 weeks gestation and drinking water As was measured. Participants with live births (n = 1130) were propensity score matched to participants who experienced miscarriage (n = 132), stillbirth (n = 72), preterm birth (n = 243), and neonatal mortality (n = 20). Logistic regression was used to examine drinking water As recommendations of 50, 10, 5, 2.5, and 1 µg/L on the odds of adverse birth outcomes. (3) Results: The odds of miscarriage were higher for pregnant women exposed to drinking water ≥2.5 versus <2.5 µg As/L [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.90, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.07–3.38)]. (4) Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest a potential threshold where the odds of miscarriage increases when drinking water As is above 2.5 µg/L. This concentration is below the World Health Organizations and Bangladesh’s drinking water recommendations and supports the re-evaluation of drinking water regulations. Full article
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Article
Prenatal Household Air Pollution Exposure, Cord Blood Mononuclear Cell Telomere Length and Age Four Blood Pressure: Evidence from a Ghanaian Pregnancy Cohort
Toxics 2021, 9(7), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9070169 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1768
Abstract
Associations between prenatal household air pollution exposure (HAP), newborn telomere length and early childhood blood pressure are unknown. Methods: Pregnant women were randomized to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stove, improved biomass stove or control (traditional, open fire cook stove). HAP was measured by [...] Read more.
Associations between prenatal household air pollution exposure (HAP), newborn telomere length and early childhood blood pressure are unknown. Methods: Pregnant women were randomized to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stove, improved biomass stove or control (traditional, open fire cook stove). HAP was measured by personal carbon monoxide (CO) (n = 97) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) (n = 60). At birth, cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMCs) were collected for telomere length (TL) analyses. At child age four years, we measured resting blood pressure (BP) (n = 97). We employed multivariable linear regression to determine associations between prenatal HAP and cookstove arm and assessed CBMC relative to TL separately. We then examined associations between CBMC TL and resting BP. Results: Higher prenatal PM2.5 exposure was associated with reduced TL (β = −4.9% (95% CI −8.6, −0.4), p = 0.03, per 10 ug/m3 increase in PM2.5). Infants born to mothers randomized to the LPG cookstove had longer TL (β = 55.3% (95% CI 16.2, 109.6), p < 0.01)) compared with control. In all children, shorter TL was associated with higher systolic BP (SBP) (β = 0.35 mmHg (95% CI 0.001, 0.71), p = 0.05, per 10% decrease in TL). Increased prenatal HAP exposure is associated with shorter TL at birth. Shorter TL at birth is associated with higher age four BP, suggesting that TL at birth may be a biomarker of HAP-associated disease risk. Full article
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