BMJ Open. 2020 Jul 19;10(7):e036389. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036389.
PURPOSE: Puerto Rican children experience high rates of asthma and obesity. Further, infants born in Puerto Rico are more at risk for being born prematurely compared with infants on the mainland USA. Environmental exposures from multiple sources during critical periods of child development, potentially modified by psychosocial factors, may contribute to these adverse health outcomes. To date, most studies investigating the health effects of environmental factors on infant and child health have focused on single or individual exposures.
PARTICIPANTS: Infants currently in gestation whose mother is enrolled in Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) cohort, and infants and children already born to mothers who participated in the PROTECT study.
FINDINGS TO DATE: Data collection and processing remains ongoing. Demographic data have been collected on 437 mother-child pairs. Birth outcomes are available for 420 infants, neurodevelopmental outcomes have been collected on 319 children. Concentrations of parabens and phenols in maternal spot urine samples have been measured from 386 mothers. Center for Research on Early Childhood Exposure and Development mothers have significantly higher urinary concentrations of dichlorophenols, triclosan and triclocarban, but lower levels of several parabens compared with reference values from a similar population drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
FUTURE PLANS: Data will continue to be collected through recruitment of new births with a target of 600 children. Seven scheduled follow-up visits with existing and new participants are planned. Further, our research team continues to work with healthcare providers, paediatricians and early intervention providers to support parent’s ability to access early intervention services for participants.