The purpose of the LIFE Study is to assess the impact of environmental factors, broadly defined to include lifestyle factors, on human reproduction and development. The LIFE Study is consistent with the mission of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development that includes conducting basic, clinical and epidemiologic research focusing on factors and processes associated with human reproduction and development thereby, ensuring the birth of healthy infants capable of reaching full adult potential unimpaired by physical or mental disabilities. This study will assess the relation between select environmental factors and human fecundity and fertility. This research proposes to recruit and retain 800 couples interested in becoming pregnant and willing to participate in a longitudinal study. Couples will be selected from geographic regions that were chosen from peer reviewed competitive proposals. Fecundity will be measured by the time required for the couples to achieve pregnancy, while fertility will be measured by the ability of couples to have a live born infant. Infertility will be recognized for couples unable to conceive within 12 months of trying. The studys primary environmental exposures include: organochlorine pesticides;polychlorinated biphenyls;polybrominated diphenyl ethers;metals;perfluorinated compounds;cotinine;and phytoestrogens. A growing body of literature suggests these compounds may exert adverse effects on human reproduction and development;however, definitive data are lacking especially for sensitive endpoints. Couples will participate in a 25-minute baseline interview and be instructed in the use of home fertility monitors and pregnancy kits for counting the time required for pregnancy and detecting pregnancy. Blood and urine samples will be collected at baseline from both partners of the couple for measurement of the environmental exposures. Two semen samples from male partners and two saliva samples from female partners also will be requested. Semen samples will be used to globally assess male fecundity as measured primarily by sperm concentration and morphology. Saliva samples will be used for the measurement of cortisol levels as a marker of stress among female partners so that the relation between environmental factors, stress and human reproduction can be assessed. Data analysis is underway with a number of environmental chemicals associated with diminished couple fecundity.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
9
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$110,906
Indirect Cost
City
State
Country
Zip Code
Louis, Germaine M Buck; Sapra, Katherine J; Barr, Dana Boyd et al. (2016) Preconception perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and incident pregnancy loss, LIFE Study. Reprod Toxicol 65:11-17
Buck Louis, Germaine M; Sapra, Katherine J; Schisterman, Enrique F et al. (2016) Lifestyle and pregnancy loss in a contemporary cohort of women recruited before conception: The LIFE Study. Fertil Steril 106:180-8
Sapra, Katherine J; Joseph, K S; Galea, Sandro et al. (2016) Signs and Symptoms of Early Pregnancy Loss: A Systematic Review. Reprod Sci :
Buck Louis, G M; Barr, D B; Kannan, K et al. (2016) Paternal exposures to environmental chemicals and time-to-pregnancy: overview of results from the LIFE study. Andrology 4:639-47
Smarr, Melissa M; Grantz, Katherine L; Zhang, Cuilin et al. (2016) Persistent organic pollutants and pregnancy complications. Sci Total Environ 551-552:285-91
Goldstone, Alexandra E; Chen, Zhen; Perry, Melissa J et al. (2015) Urinary bisphenol A and semen quality, the LIFE Study. Reprod Toxicol 51:7-13
Eisenberg, Michael L; Kim, Sungduk; Chen, Zhen et al. (2015) The relationship between male BMI and waist circumference on semen quality: data from the LIFE study. Hum Reprod 30:493-4
Louis, Germaine M Buck; Chen, Zhen; Schisterman, Enrique F et al. (2015) Perfluorochemicals and human semen quality: the LIFE study. Environ Health Perspect 123:57-63
Eisenberg, Michael L; Chen, Zhen; Ye, Aijun et al. (2015) Relationship between physical occupational exposures and health on semen quality: data from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study. Fertil Steril 103:1271-7
Robledo, Candace A; Yeung, Edwina; Mendola, Pauline et al. (2015) Preconception maternal and paternal exposure to persistent organic pollutants and birth size: the LIFE study. Environ Health Perspect 123:88-94

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