Prenatal p,p´-DDE Exposure and Neurodevelopment among Children 3.5–5 Years of Age
Luisa Torres-Sánchez,1 Lourdes Schnaas,2 Stephen J Rothenberg,1 Mariano E. Cebrián,3 Erika Osorio-Valencia,2 María del Carmen Hernández,2 Rosa María García-Hernández,3 and Lizbeth López-Carrillo1
1National Institute of Public Health, Morelos, Mexico; 2National Institute of Perinatology, Mexico City, Mexico; 3Department of Toxicology, CINVESTAV, Mexico City, Mexico
Background: The results of previous studies suggest that prenatal exposure to bis[p-chlorophenyl]-1,1,1-trichloroethane (DDT) and to its main metabolite, 2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethylene (DDE), impairs psychomotor development during the first year of life. However, information about the persistence of this association at later ages is limited.
Objectives: We assessed the association of prenatal DDE exposure with child neurodevelopment at 42–60 months of age.
Methods: Since 2001 we have been monitoring the neurodevelopment in children who were recruited at birth into a perinatal cohort exposed to DDT, in the state of Morelos, Mexico. We report McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities for 203 children at 42, 48, 54, and 60 months of age. Maternal DDE serum levels were available for at least one trimester of pregnancy. The Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment scale and other covariables of interest were also available.
Results: After adjustment, a doubling of DDE during the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with statistically significant reductions of –1.37, –0.88, –0.84, and –0.80 points in the general cognitive index, quantitative, verbal, and memory components respectively. The association between prenatal DDE and the quantitative component was weaker at 42 months than at older ages. No significant statistical interactions with sex or breastfeeding were observed.
Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that prenatal DDE impairs early child neurodevelopment; the potential for adverse effects on development should be considered when using DDT for malaria control.
Key words: McCarthy scale, Mexico, neurodevelopment, organochlorines compounds, prenatal exposure, prospective cohort.
Environ Health Perspect 121:263–268 (2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205034 [Online 13 November 2012]
Address correspondence to L. López-Carrillo, National Institute of Public Health, Mexico. Av. Universidad 655, Col. Sta María Ahuacatitlán, CP 62100. Cuernavaca Morelos, México. Telephone: 52 (777) 3293000 Ext. 2501. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are grateful to P. Castro for her assistance in contacting the families and administering the questionnaires.
This study was funded by grants (41708, 31034-M, 13915) from the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACyT) and partially by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (D43TW00640) of Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Queens College International Training and Research in Environmental and Occupational Health Program.
The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Fogarty International Center or the National Institutes of Health.
The authors declare they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.
Received 30 January 2012; Accepted 13 November 2012; Online 13 November 2012.
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