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Prenatal Phthalate Exposure Is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning

Engel, Stephanie M ; Miodovnik, Amir ; Canfield, Richard L ; Zhu, Chenbo ; Silva, Manori J ; Calafat, Antonia M ; Wolff, Mary S

Environmental health perspectives, 2010-04, Vol.118 (4), p.565-571 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

United States: Environmental Health Perspectives

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  • Title:
    Prenatal Phthalate Exposure Is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning
  • Author/Creator: Engel, Stephanie M ; Miodovnik, Amir ; Canfield, Richard L ; Zhu, Chenbo ; Silva, Manori J ; Calafat, Antonia M ; Wolff, Mary S
  • Publisher: United States: Environmental Health Perspectives
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Chemical hazards ; Metabolites ; Childhood ; Environmental health ; Parents ; Metabolic diseases ; Children ; Preventive medicine ; Phthalates ; Depressive disorders ; Children's Health ; Pregnancy ; Prospective Studies ; Phthalic Acids - toxicity ; Humans ; Child, Preschool ; Female ; Child Behavior - drug effects ; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects - diagnosis ; Child ; Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder ; Diagnosis ; Research ; Health aspects ; Risk factors ; Index Medicus ; BASC ; BRIEF ; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ; phthalate ; environmental exposure
  • Is Part Of: Environmental health perspectives, 2010-04, Vol.118 (4), p.565-571
  • Description: Background: Experimental and observational studies have reported biological consequences of phthalate exposure relevant to neurodevelopment. Objective: Our goal was to examine the association of prenatal phthalate exposure with behavior and executive functioning at 4–9 years of age. Methods: The Mount Sinai Children's Environmental Health Study enrolled a multiethnic prenatal population in New York City between 1998 and 2002 (n = 404). Third-trimester maternal urines were collected and analyzed for phthalate metabolites. Children (n = 188, n = 365 visits) were assessed for cognitive and behavioral development between the ages of 4 and 9 years. Results: In multivariate adjusted models, increased loge concentrations of low molecular weight (LMW) phthalate metabolites were associated with poorer scores on the aggression [β = 1.24; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.15–2.34], conduct problems (β = 2.40; 95% CI, 1.34–3.46), attention problems (β = 1.29; 95% CI, 0.16–2.41), and depression (β = 1.18; 95% CI, 0.11–2.24) clinical scales; and externalizing problems (β = 1.75; 95% CI, 0.61–2.88) and behavioral symptom index (β = 1.55; 95% CI, 0.39–2.71) composite scales. Increased loge concentrations of LMW phthalates were also associated with poorer scores on the global executive composite index (β = 1.23; 95% CI, 0.09–2.36) and the emotional control scale (β = 1.33; 95% CI, 0.18–2.49). Conclusion: Behavioral domains adversely associated with prenatal exposure to LMW phthalates in our study are commonly found to be affected in children clinically diagnosed with conduct or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.
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    The authors declare they have no competing financial interests.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 1552-9924
    ISSN: 0091-6765
    EISSN: 1552-9924
    DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901470
    PMID: 20106747