Fish and other seafood may contain beneficial nutrients as well as harmful contaminants. The prenatal period is a time of particular susceptibility to the adverse effects of organic mercury as well as to the beneficial influence of nutrients such as elongated n-3 fatty acids and selenium. However, little is known about the balance of risk and benefit from maternal fish intake during pregnancy on child development. The small number of previous studies regarding fish intake and child development are limited by lack of detailed nutrient measures, short duration of follow-up, and few outcome measures. In the proposed study, we will use information on maternal fish intake and biomarkers of mercury and nutrient exposure to examine the combined influence of the risks and benefits of maternal diet during pregnancy on child development. This project build upon the established infrastructure of Project Viva, an ongoing pre-birth US cohort study with stored maternal blood samples, validated prenatal dietary assessment, and detailed information on a number of covariates including home environment and other important predictors of child development.
Study aims will be to assess associations of levels of mercury and n-3 fatty acids from maternal blood collected during pregnancy with child cognition and behavior at age 7 years. In addition, we will examine the influence of maternal prenatal fish intake on child cognition and behavior, with and without additional adjustment for mercury and n-3 fatty acids. We will explore the role of nutrients as modifiers of the effect of prenatal mercury exposure, by determining whether mercury has a stronger adverse effect among participants with lower levels of elongated n-3 fatty acids or selenium. Funds from this grant will support wide-ranging cognitive and behavioral assessments added to the already-funded cohort follow-up visit at age 7 years, as well as assays of exposure biomarkers and data analysis. This project is both cost- and time-efficient compared to the initiation of a new cohort, and offers many advantages over previous studies. The study team brings internationally recognized expertise in establishing, maintaining, and analyzing data from a longitudinal cohort, in performing and interpreting assays of nutrient and toxicant exposure, and in interpreting cognitive test results. The proposed study will provide information important to helping mothers and their health advisors make the best decisions about diet during pregnancy to optimize child development. The proposed study will provide timely and high quality data to inform the ongoing national policy discussion regarding the nutritional benefits as well as the contaminant risks from fish intake during pregnancy, and how these competing effects may balance out. Getting the message right is crucial, since pregnant women act upon recommendations regarding the safety of dietary fish intake. The right kind of message could improve children's developmental potential, but the wrong message could do the opposite.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01ES016314-04
Application #
8028380
Study Section
Neurological, Aging and Musculoskeletal Epidemiology (NAME)
Program Officer
Kirshner, Annette G
Project Start
2008-04-03
Project End
2013-02-28
Budget Start
2011-03-01
Budget End
2013-02-28
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$337,763
Indirect Cost
Name
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc.
Department
Type
DUNS #
071721088
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02215
Oken, Emily; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra et al. (2016) Maternal prenatal fish consumption and cognition in mid childhood: Mercury, fatty acids, and selenium. Neurotoxicol Teratol 57:71-78
Belfort, Mandy B; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Kleinman, Ken P et al. (2016) Infant Breastfeeding Duration and Mid-Childhood Executive Function, Behavior, and Social-Emotional Development. J Dev Behav Pediatr 37:43-52
Stratakis, Nikos; Roumeliotaki, Theano; Oken, Emily et al. (2016) Fish Intake in Pregnancy and Child Growth: A Pooled Analysis of 15 European and US Birth Cohorts. JAMA Pediatr 170:381-90
Oken, Emily; Baccarelli, Andrea A; Gold, Diane R et al. (2015) Cohort profile: project viva. Int J Epidemiol 44:37-48
Oken, Emily (2015) Consumption of Fish and Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids During Pregnancy: has the Tide Turned? Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 29:388-90
Perkins, Meghan; Wright, Robert O; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra J et al. (2014) Very low maternal lead level in pregnancy and birth outcomes in an eastern Massachusetts population. Ann Epidemiol 24:915-9
Oken, Emily; Guthrie, Lauren B; Bloomingdale, Arienne et al. (2014) Assessment of dietary fish consumption in pregnancy: comparing one-, four- and thirty-six-item questionnaires. Public Health Nutr 17:1949-59
Oken, Emily; Guthrie, Lauren B; Bloomingdale, Arienne et al. (2013) A pilot randomized controlled trial to promote healthful fish consumption during pregnancy: the Food for Thought Study. Nutr J 12:33
Boeke, Caroline E; Gillman, Matthew W; Hughes, Michael D et al. (2013) Choline intake during pregnancy and child cognition at age 7 years. Am J Epidemiol 177:1338-47
Belfort, Mandy B; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Kleinman, Ken P et al. (2013) Infant feeding and childhood cognition at ages 3 and 7 years: Effects of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. JAMA Pediatr 167:836-44

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