The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) is an ongoing prebirth cohort study. Enrollment was completed in 2008 resulting in 106,980 pregnancies in the study. The study is based on questionnaires completed by the mother and father, and biological specimens are collected from the mother, father and child. The main purpose of the study is to find causes of diseases. NIEHS is providing partial support for the study, and in 2002 expanded the data collection protocol to include collection of more biologic specimens from the mothers during the 17th week of pregnancy (additional serum, a specimen of whole blood collected in a trace-element free container, and urine). These specimens will enhance the ability to examine the relation of environmental exposures in relation to various health outcomes in the children and their mothers. As of April 30, 2009, 77,104 subjects had provided blood and urine that was collected in conjunction with NIEHS. Using the MoBa data, we have conducted a series of studies of health effects of in utero exposure to tobacco smoke. In 2012 we published two of these. First, we examined in utero exposure to tobacco smoke in relation to components of the metabolic syndrome and gestational diabetes mellitus and found evidence of an association. In the second, related manuscript, we reported the association of in utero exposure to tobacco smoking with elevated plasma triglycerides in adulthood. We added to the MoBa protocol the collection additional urine specimens in pregnancy, at weeks 23 and 29, for a subset of women. 690 women have a complete set of three urine specimens from pregnancy. This year the laboratory work was completed for a study in which we attempted to measure the levels of metabolites of organophosphate pesticides and bisphenol A in these specimens, to determine how reproducibile the levels were. We have learned that the preservative used in the collection of the urine specimens contaminated them with free bisphenol A, and makes the specimens difficult to analyze for organophosphate pesticide metabolites. This information will be of great use as we plan future studies. Future studies seeking to quantitate bisphenol A will need to measure total and free BPA, so that conjuated BPA can be estimated. Special new studies will be needed to see if the specimens can be analyzed for organophosphate pesticide metabolites, because the standard approach will not work. We also have studied perfluorinated alkyls in relation to birthweight among women in the MoBa cohort. Our manuscript on this was published in 2012. We are completing at least four other papers based on these data;two are on values of clinical chemistry parameters in relation to perfluorinated compound levels, one is on determinants of blood levels of these compounds, and one, using the same group of women, is about physical activity in pregnancy and plasma levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. In the past year we developed a new study on perfluorinated compounds and preeclampsia, and the laboratory work for this is underway. Because the study is in a relatively early phase, the number of scientific reports is still limited. At NIEHS, we are developing several studies that will be nested within MoBa. A list of the studies currently planned includes: Risk factors for cerebral palsy, A Search for the Non-mendelian Transmission of Human Genes, Mother's Physical Activity During Pregnancy and Fetal Loss, Dietary Intake and Gestational Diabetes, Physical Activity in Pregnancy and Infant Neurodevelopment, Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Risk of Autism, and additional studies on perfluorinated compound exposure and health.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Zip Code
Villanger, Gro Dehli; Learner, Emily; Longnecker, Matthew P et al. (2017) Effects of Sample Handling and Analytical Procedures on Thyroid Hormone Concentrations in Pregnant Women's Plasma. Epidemiology 28:365-369
Whitworth, Kristina W; Haug, Line S; Sabaredzovic, Azemira et al. (2016) Brief Report: Plasma Concentrations of Perfluorooctane Sulfonamide and Time-to-pregnancy Among Primiparous Women. Epidemiology 27:712-5
Verner, Marc-André; Ngueta, Gérard; Jensen, Elizabeth T et al. (2016) A Simple Pharmacokinetic Model of Prenatal and Postnatal Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs). Environ Sci Technol 50:978-86
Wu, Huali; Yoon, Miyoung; Verner, Marc-André et al. (2015) Can the observed association between serum perfluoroalkyl substances and delayed menarche be explained on the basis of puberty-related changes in physiology and pharmacokinetics? Environ Int 82:61-8
Verner, Marc-André; Loccisano, Anne E; Morken, Nils-Halvdan et al. (2015) Associations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) with Lower Birth Weight: An Evaluation of Potential Confounding by Glomerular Filtration Rate Using a Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model (PBPK). Environ Health Perspect :
Papadopoulou, Eleni; Haug, Line S; Sabaredzovic, Azemira et al. (2015) Reliability of perfluoroalkyl substances in plasma of 100 women in two consecutive pregnancies. Environ Res 140:421-9
Guidry, Virginia T; Longnecker, Matthew P; Aase, Heidi et al. (2015) Measurement of Total and Free Urinary Phenol and Paraben Concentrations over the Course of Pregnancy: Assessing Reliability and Contamination of Specimens in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Environ Health Perspect 123:705-11
Bertelsen, Randi J; Brantsæter, Anne Lise; Magnus, Maria C et al. (2014) Probiotic milk consumption in pregnancy and infancy and subsequent childhood allergic diseases. J Allergy Clin Immunol 133:165-71.e1-8
Bertelsen, Randi J; Engel, Stephanie M; Jusko, Todd A et al. (2014) Reliability of triclosan measures in repeated urine samples from Norwegian pregnant women. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 24:517-21
Starling, Anne P; Engel, Stephanie M; Whitworth, Kristina W et al. (2014) Perfluoroalkyl substances and lipid concentrations in plasma during pregnancy among women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Environ Int 62:104-12

Showing the most recent 10 out of 32 publications