Environmental

Prenatal BPA exposure linked to anxiety and depression in boys

Public Release: 16-Aug-2016

 

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

 

Boys exposed prenatally to a common chemical used in plastics may be more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression at age 10-12. The new study by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) within the Mailman School of Public Health examined early life exposure to the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA). Results are published in the journal Environmental Research.

BPA is a component of some plastics and is found in food containers, plastic water bottles, dental sealants, and thermal receipt paper. In the body, BPA is a synthetic estrogen, one of the class of chemicals known as “endocrine disruptors.” The Columbia researchers, led by Frederica Perera, PhD, DrPH, director of CCCEH, previously reported that prenatal exposure to BPA was associated with emotionally reactive and aggressive behavior, and more symptoms of anxiety and depression in boys at age 7-9.

Perera and her co-investigators followed 241 nonsmoking pregnant women and their children, a subset of CCCEH’s longstanding urban birth cohort study in New York City, from pregnancy through childhood. To measure the amount of BPA that had been absorbed in the body, researchers collected a urine sample from the mothers during the third trimester of their pregnancy, and from the children at age 3 and age 5. At ages 10-12, children completed an interview with a trained researcher about their symptoms of depression and completed a self-assessment that measures anxiety.

Researchers controlled for factors that have been previously associated with BPA exposure levels, including socioeconomic factors. After separating the data by sex, they found that boys with the highest levels of prenatal exposure to BPA had more symptoms of depression and anxiety than boys with lower levels of prenatal exposure to BPA; no such associations were found in girls.

“These findings are consistent with our prior reports on BPA and children’s development assessed at earlier ages and suggest greater susceptibility of the male brain during prenatal development,” says Perera. “Anxiety and depression are particularly worrisome because they can interfere with a child’s ability to concentrate, perform in school, socialize and make friends,” adds neuropsychologist and co-investigator Amy Margolis, PhD, assistant professor of Medical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.

###

Additional co-authors include Emily Roen, Ya Wang, Shuang Wang, Wanda Garcia, Lori Hoepner, Virginia Rauh, and Julie Herbstman–from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health; Bradley Peterson from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; and Antonia Calafat at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Support for the study was provided by grants from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) (P01ES09600, R01ES08977, R01ES015579) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (R82702701, RD83214101, RD83450901, NIDA R01DA027100). Additional support was provided by the John and Wendy Neu Family Foundation, the New York Community Trust, and the Trustees of the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund.

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

Founded in 1922, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its over 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations pursuing a variety of master’s and doctoral degree programs. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including ICAP (formerly the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs) and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit http://www.mailman.columbia.edu.

Categories: Environmental

In order to not be misidentified as spam, please mention something in the article.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s