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2017 Conference

Abstract Number: 667 | ID: 2017-667

Prenatal Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) Exposure and Social Cognition at Age 14

Maria H. Harris(Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, United States, mariaharris@berkeley.edu), Julianna Deardorff(Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, United States), Kim G. Harley(Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, United States), Katherine Kogut(Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, United States), Asa Bradman(Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, United States), Nina Holland(Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, United States), Brenda Eskenazi(Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, United States), Sharon K. Sagiv(Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley, United States)
Background/Aim: PBDEs may act as developmental neurotoxicants in humans, but epidemiologic findings to date on PBDE exposure and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are very limited. Among young adolescents in the CHAMACOS (Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas) birth cohort study, we examined associations of prenatal PBDE concentrations with social cognition, a trait impaired in individuals with ASD.

Methods: We measured concentrations of four common PBDE congeners (BDE-47, 99, 100, 153) in blood collected from CHAMACOS mothers during the second half of pregnancy (in 2000-2002). When children were aged 14 years, parents completed the Social Responsiveness Scale, Second Edition (SRS-2), a rating scale of traits related to ASD. Using linear regression models, we examined associations of serum lipid-adjusted PBDE concentrations in relation to sex-standardized SRS-2 T-scores (population standard mean=50, standard deviation=10), with adjustment for language of SRS-2 administration (Spanish or English), child’s age at assessment, breastfeeding duration, household poverty, maternal characteristics (age, parity, education, country of origin, years in the United States, pre-pregnancy body mass index, and IQ), and measures of maternal depression and home environment.

Results: 170 participants with complete data were included. Median (25%-75%) serum lipid-adjusted PBDE concentrations were: 15.5 ng/g lipid (9.5-24.5) [BDE-47], 3.8 (2.5-6.4) [BDE-99], 2.5 (1.7-4.2) [BDE-100], 2.1 (1.4-3.6) [BDE-153]. SRS-2 T-scores ranged from 41-88 with a mean (standard deviation) of 55.7 (8.0). SRS-2 scores were somewhat higher (representing more autistic behaviors) among children whose mothers had higher concentrations of BDE-153 in pregnancy (β=2.3; 95% confidence interval: -1.7, 6.2 per 10-fold increase in maternal BDE-153 concentration), but were not associated with other measured PBDEs or the sum of the four measured PBDEs.

Conclusions: Among young adolescents living in a low-income agricultural community in California, we did not observe strong evidence of associations of prenatal PBDE concentrations with behaviors related to ASD.