Environ Res. 2022 Mar;204(Pt A):111977. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111977. Epub 2021 Aug 29.
STUDY OBJECTIVES: The neurobiological processes involved in establishing sleep regulation are vulnerable to environmental exposures as early as seven weeks of gestation. Studies have linked in utero pesticide exposure to childhood sleep-disordered breathing. However, the impact of in utero pesticide exposure on the sleep health of adolescents remains unexplored.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from 137 mother-adolescent pairs from a Mexico City cohort were analyzed. We used maternal urinary 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA, pyrethroid metabolite) and 3, 5, 6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy, chlorpyrifos metabolite) from trimester three to estimate in utero pesticide exposure. Among adolescents, we obtained repeated measures of objectively assessed sleep duration, midpoint, and fragmentation using wrist-actigraphy devices for 7 consecutive days in 2015 and 2017. Unstratified and sex-stratified associations between maternal urinary 3-PBA and TCPy and adolescent sleep measures were examined using generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs). We also examined the interactive effects of maternal pesticide exposure and offspring sex on sleep outcomes.
RESULTS: 3-PBA and TCPy were detected in 44.4% and 93% of urine samples, respectively. Adjusted findings demonstrated that higher exposure to maternal TCPy was associated with longer sleep duration and later sleep timing. Findings from interaction tests between maternal pesticide exposure and offspring sex were not statistically significant, although adjusted sex-stratified findings showed that the association between TCPy with duration and midpoint was evident only among female offspring. To illustrate, those in the highest tertile of exposure had a 59 minute (95% CI: 12.2, 104.8) (p, trend = 0.004) longer sleep duration and a 0.6 hour (95% CI: 0.01, 1.3) (p, trend = 0.01) later sleep midpoint. We found no significant associations between 3-PBA and sleep outcomes.
CONCLUSION: Within a cohort of mother-adolescent pairs, we found associations between maternal prenatal pesticide exposure and longer sleep duration and later sleep timing among adolescent offspring. Further, this association may be female-specific.