Associate Chair Clinical Research, Dept of Pediatrics (2012 - Present)
DrPH, UC Berkeley, Epidemiology (1986)
Primary research interests include 1) epidemiology of birth defects, 2) gene-environment approaches to perinatal outcomes, and 3) nutrition and reproductive outcomes.
Human preterm birth (PTB) is a complex medical outcome influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Research on the causative factors of PTB has mostly focused on demographic, socio-behavioral and environmental risk factors. Recent studies turn the spotlight on the effects of heavy metals exposure on adverse pregnancy outcomes. Here we present and evaluate the hypothesis that heavy metals may cause PTB through oxidative stress, and that this effect may be modified by polymorphisms in genes related to oxidative stress. Indeed, accumulating data suggest that the risk of PTB is correlated with polymorphisms in genes involved in detoxification, oxidative stress and lipid metabolism. These and other polymorphisms have independently been associated with susceptibility to the adverse effects of heavy metals.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.reprotox.2013.06.072
View details for PubMedID 23811355
Birth defects are a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Studies suggest associations between environmental contaminants and some structural anomalies, although evidence is limited and several anomalies have not been investigated previously.We used data from the California Center of the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and the Children's Health and Air Pollution Study to estimate the odds of 26 congenital birth defect phenotypes with respect to quartiles of seven ambient air pollutant and traffic exposures in California during the first 2 months of pregnancy, 1997 to 2006 (874 cases and 849 controls). We calculated odds ratios (adjusted for maternal race/ethnicity, education, and vitamin use; aOR) for 11 phenotypes that had at least 40 cases.Few odds ratios had confidence intervals that did not include 1.0. Odds of esophageal atresia were increased for the highest versus lowest of traffic density (aOR = 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-7.4) and PM10 exposure (aOR 4.9; 95% CI, 1.4-17.2). PM10 was associated with a decreased risk of hydrocephaly (aOR= 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1-0.9) and CO with decreased risk of anotia/microtia (aOR = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.8) and transverse limb deficiency (aOR = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.9), again reflecting highest versus lowest quartile comparisons.Most analyses showed no substantive association between air pollution and the selected birth defects with few exceptions of mixed results. Birth Defects Research (Part A) 97:730-735, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23175
View details for PubMedID 24108522
PURPOSE: We determined whether variants in genes associated with genital tubercle (the anlage for the penis) and early urethral development were associated with hypospadias in humans. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined 293 relatively common tagSNPs in BMP4, BMP7, FGF8, FGF10, FGFR2, HOXA13, HOXD13, HOXA4, HOXB6, SRY, WT1, WTAP, SHH, GLI1, GLI2, and GLI3. The analysis included 624 cases (81 mild, 319 moderate, 209 severe, 15 undetermined severity) and 844 population-based non-malformed male controls born in California from 1990-2003. RESULTS: There were 28 SNPs for which any of the comparisons (i.e., overall or for a specific severity) had a p-value <0.01. The homozygous variant genotypes for four SNPs in BMP7were associated with at least 2-fold increased risk of hypospadias, regardless of severity. Five SNPs for FGF10were associated with 3- to 4-fold increased risks, regardless of severity; for four of them, results were restricted to whites. For GLI1, GLI2and GLI3, there were 12 associated SNPs but results were inconsistent by severity and race-ethnicity. For SHH, one SNP was associated with 2.4-fold increased risk of moderate hypospadias. For WT1, six SNPs were associated with approximately 2-fold increased risks, primarily for severe hypospadias. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that SNPs in several genes that contribute to genital tubercle and early urethral development are associated with hypospadias risk.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.juro.2013.05.061
View details for Web of Science ID 000325471400089
View details for PubMedID 23727413
Background:Evidence indicates that maternal nutrient intake may play a role in the development of birth defects. We investigated the association of maternal periconceptional intake of vitamin supplements and dietary nutrients with risk of developing cleft palate (CP) and cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CLP).Methods:Data were from a population-based, case-control study of fetuses and liveborn infants delivered in California,1999-2003. Analyses included 170 cases with CP, 425 with CLP, and 534 nonmalformed controls. Dietary intake was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire.Results:Vitamin supplement intake was associated with a modestly decreased risk of clefts, but the confidence intervals include one. Among women who did not use vitamin supplements, dietary intake of several micronutrients was associated with risk of clefts. We found at least a two-fold elevated risk of CP with low intake of riboflavin, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12, and zinc; all CIs excluded 1.0. For CLP, we found at least a two-fold elevated risk with low intake of niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and calcium, and a decreased risk with high intake of folate and cryptoxanthin; all CIs excluded 1.0.Conclusion:Results suggest that periconceptional nutrient intake may be associated with risk of CP and CLP.Pediatric Research (2013); doi:10.1038/pr.2013.115.
View details for DOI 10.1038/pr.2013.115
View details for PubMedID 23823175
Twin studies suggest that heritability of moderate-severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is 53% to 79%, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genetic variants associated with the risk for BPD.The discovery GWAS was completed on 1726 very low birth weight infants (gestational age = 25(0)-29(6/7) weeks) who had a minimum of 3 days of intermittent positive pressure ventilation and were in the hospital at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age. At 36 weeks' postmenstrual age, moderate-severe BPD cases (n = 899) were defined as requiring continuous supplemental oxygen, whereas controls (n = 827) inhaled room air. An additional 795 comparable infants (371 cases, 424 controls) were a replication population. Genomic DNA from case and control newborn screening bloodspots was used for the GWAS. The replication study interrogated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in the discovery GWAS and those within the HumanExome beadchip.Genotyping using genomic DNA was successful. We did not identify SNPs associated with BPD at the genome-wide significance level (5 × 10(-8)) and no SNP identified in previous studies reached statistical significance (Bonferroni-corrected P value threshold .0018). Pathway analyses were not informative.We did not identify genomic loci or pathways that account for the previously described heritability for BPD. Potential explanations include causal mutations that are genetic variants and were not assayed or are mapped to many distributed loci, inadequate sample size, race ethnicity of our study population, or case-control differences investigated are not attributable to underlying common genetic variation.
View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2013-0533
View details for PubMedID 23897914
Objective To examine maternal dietary intake and preterm delivery.Study Design Data included 5738 deliveries from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Odds ratios (ORs) reflected risks of delivery at <32, 32-34, or 35-36 versus ≥37 weeks for maternal intake in the lowest or highest quartile of nutrient intake compared with the middle two.Results Among deliveries < 32 weeks, many ORs were ≥1.5 or ≤0.7, but few confidence intervals excluded one. ORs were ≥1.5 for lowest quartiles of protein, thiamin, riboflavin, choline, vitamin A, α-carotene, β-carotene, vitamin E, iron, copper, and zinc and for highest quartiles of carbohydrate, glycemic index, and Mediterranean Diet Score. ORs were ≤0.7 for lowest quartiles of glycemic index and betaine and for highest quartiles of protein, alanine, methionine, vitamin B6, betaine, and calcium. Few ORs met these criteria for later preterm deliveries.Conclusions Results suggested an association of nutrient intake with earlier preterm deliveries.
View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0032-1329686
View details for Web of Science ID 000322021900009
View details for PubMedID 23208764
Experimental data indicate that gestational exposures to estrogenic compounds impact risk of hypospadias. We examined whether risk of hypospadias (i.e., a congenital malformation in which the opening of the penile urethra occurs on the ventral side of the penis) was associated with maternal intake of phytoestrogens, given their potential impact on estrogen metabolism. The analysis included data on mothers of 1,250 hypospadias cases and 3,118 controls who delivered their infants from 1997 to 2005 and participated in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a multistate, population-based, case-control study. After adjustment for several covariates, high intakes of daidzein, genistein, glycetin, secoisolariciresinol, total isoflavones, total lignans, and total phytoestrogens were associated with reduced risks; odds ratios comparing intakes ≥90th percentile with intakes between the 11th and 89th percentiles ranged from 0.6 to 0.8. For example, the odds ratio for total phytoestrogen intake was 0.7 (95% confidence interval: 0.5, 1.0). This study represents the first large-scale analysis of phytoestrogen intake and hypospadias. The observed associations merit investigation in additional populations before firm conclusions can be reached.
View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kws591
View details for Web of Science ID 000322734500012
View details for PubMedID 23752918
Congenital anomalies are a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Studies suggest associations between environmental contaminants and some anomalies, although evidence is limited.We used data from the California Center of the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and the Children's Health and Air Pollution Study to estimate the odds of 27 congenital heart defects with respect to quartiles of seven ambient air pollutant and traffic exposures in California during the first 2 months of pregnancy, 1997-2006 (n?=?822 cases and n?=?849 controls).Particulate matter 10 microns (PM10 ) was associated with pulmonary valve stenosis [adjusted odds ratio (aOR)Fourth Quartile ?=?2.6] [95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.2, 5.7] and perimembranous ventricular septal defects (aORThird Quartile ?=?2.1) [95% CI 1.1, 3.9] after adjusting for maternal race/ethnicity, education and multivitamin use. PM2.5 was associated with transposition of the great arteries (aORThird Quartile ?=?2.6) [95% CI 1.1, 6.5] and inversely associated with perimembranous ventricular septal defects (aORFourth Quartile ?=?0.5) [95% CI 0.2, 0.9]. Secundum atrial septal defects were inversely associated with carbon monoxide (aORFourth Quartile ?=?0.4) [95% CI 0.2, 0.8] and PM2.5 (aORFourth Quartile ?=?0.5) [95% CI 0.3, 0.8]. Traffic density was associated with muscular ventricular septal defects (aORFourth Quartile ?=?3.0) [95% CI 1.2, 7.8] and perimembranous ventricular septal defects (aORThird Quartile ?=?2.4) [95% CI 1.3, 4.6], and inversely associated with transposition of the great arteries (aORFourth Quartile ?=?0.3) [95% CI 0.1, 0.8].PM10 and traffic density may contribute to the occurrence of pulmonary valve stenosis and ventricular septal defects, respectively. The results were mixed for other pollutants and had little consistency with previous studies.
View details for DOI 10.1111/ppe.12055
View details for PubMedID 23772934
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between typically measured prenatal screening biomarkers and early-preterm birth in euploid pregnancies.The study included 345 early-preterm cases (<30 weeks of gestation) and 1725 control subjects who were drawn from a population-based sample of California pregnancies who had both first- and second-trimester screening results. Logistic regression analyses were used to compare patterns of biomarkers in cases and control subjects and to develop predictive models. Replicability of the biomarker early-preterm relationships that was revealed by the models was evaluated by examination of the frequency and associated adjusted relative risks (RRs) for early-preterm birth and for preterm birth in general (<37 weeks of gestation) in pregnancies with identified abnormal markers compared with pregnancies without these markers in a subsequent independent California cohort of screened pregnancies (n = 76,588).The final model for early-preterm birth included first-trimester pregnancy-associated plasma protein A in the ≤5th percentile, second-trimester alpha-fetoprotein in the ≥95th percentile, and second-trimester inhibin in the ≥95th percentile (odds ratios, 2.3-3.6). In general, pregnancies in the subsequent cohort with a biomarker pattern that were found to be associated with early-preterm delivery in the first sample were at an increased risk for early-preterm birth and preterm birth in general (<37 weeks of gestation; adjusted RR, 1.6-27.4). Pregnancies with ≥2 biomarker abnormalities were at particularly increased risk (adjusted RR, 3.6-27.4).When considered across cohorts and in combination, abnormalities in routinely collected biomarkers reveal predictable risks for early-preterm birth.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.02.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000320596600029
View details for PubMedID 23395922
Congenital anomalies are a leading cause of infant mortality and are important contributors to subsequent morbidity. Studies suggest associations between environmental contaminants and some anomalies, although evidence is limited. We aimed to investigate whether ambient air pollutant and traffic exposures in early gestation contribute to the risk of selected congenital anomalies in the San Joaquin Valley of California, 1997-2006. Seven exposures and 5 outcomes were included for a total of 35 investigated associations. We observed increased odds of neural tube defects when comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of exposure for several pollutants after adjusting for maternal race/ethnicity, education, and multivitamin use. The adjusted odds ratio for neural tube defects among those with the highest carbon monoxide exposure was 1.9 (95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.2) compared with those with the lowest exposure, and there was a monotonic exposure-response across quartiles. The highest quartile of nitrogen oxide exposure was associated with neural tube defects (adjusted odds ratio = 1.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.8). The adjusted odds ratio for the highest quartile of nitrogen dioxide exposure was 1.7 (95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.7). Ozone was associated with decreased odds of neural tube defects. Our results extend the limited body of evidence regarding air pollution exposure and adverse birth outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kws367
View details for Web of Science ID 000318801200006
View details for PubMedID 23538941
Objective :? To evaluate whether there is an association between maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and oral clefts in offspring. This is the first human study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and clefts of which the authors are aware. Design :? Case-control study. Setting, Participants :? Data for 1997 to 2002 from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a large population-based case-control study in the United States, were analyzed. Maternal telephone interviews yielded information on jobs held in the month before through 3 months after conception. Two industrial hygienists independently assessed occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; all jobs rated as exposed or with rating difficulty were reviewed with a third industrial hygienist to reach consensus on all exposure parameters. Logistic regression estimated crude and adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals for cleft lip with or without cleft palate and cleft palate alone. Results :? There were 2989 controls (3.5% exposed), 805 cases of cleft lip with or without cleft palate (5.8% exposed), and 439 cases of cleft palate alone (4.6% exposed). The odds of maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (any versus none) during pregnancy was increased for cleft lip with or without cleft palate cases as compared with controls (odds ratio, 1.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.18 to 2.40); the odds ratio was 1.47 (95% confidence interval 1.02 to 2.12) when adjusted for maternal education. There was a statistically significant adjusted exposure-response relationship for cleft lip with or without cleft palate (Ptrend = .02). Odd ratios for cleft palate alone were not statistically significant. Conclusions :? Maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was associated with increased risk of cleft lip with or without cleft palate in offspring.
View details for DOI 10.1597/12-104
View details for PubMedID 23136939
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common chronic lung disease in infants. Its treatment imposes considerable healthcare burden and costs in the perinatal and early childhood period and patients are usually left with lifelong deficits in lung function. Evidence exists for different pathophysiologic pathways that can promote the structural changes that characterize BPD, including the impairment in alveolarization; however, there is increasing interest regarding heritable factors that may predispose very low birth weight infants to BPD. Our review focuses on recent publications that have investigated genetic factors that may potentially contribute to such reported heritability. These publications point us toward some possible genomic candidates for further study, but certainly do not identify any particular gene or gene pathway that would be inferred to be contributing substantially to the underlying etiology of BPD.
View details for DOI 10.1053/j.semperi.2013.01.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000317870800005
View details for PubMedID 23582962
Medical researchers have called for new forms of translational science that can solve complex medical problems. Mainstream science has made complementary calls for heterogeneous teams of collaborators who conduct transdisciplinary research so as to solve complex social problems. Is transdisciplinary translational science what the medical community needs? What challenges must the medical community overcome to successfully implement this new form of translational science? This article makes several contributions. First, it clarifies the concept of transdisciplinary research and distinguishes it from other forms of collaboration. Second, it presents an example of a complex medical problem and a concrete effort to solve it through transdisciplinary collaboration: for example, the problem of preterm birth and the March of Dimes effort to form a transdisciplinary research center that synthesizes knowledge on it. The presentation of this example grounds discussion on new medical research models and reveals potential means by which they can be judged and evaluated. Third, this article identifies the challenges to forming transdisciplines and the practices that overcome them. Departments, universities and disciplines tend to form intellectual silos and adopt reductionist approaches. Forming a more integrated (or 'constructionist'), problem-based science reflective of transdisciplinary research requires the adoption of novel practices to overcome these obstacles.
View details for DOI 10.1038/jp.2012.133
View details for Web of Science ID 000316833300001
View details for PubMedID 23079774
Underlying mechanisms are unknown by which folic acid use in early pregnancy may reduce risks of orofacial clefts. Thymidylate synthase (TYMS) is a folate-dependent enzyme that catalyzes reductive methylation of deoxyuridylate to thymidylate, thereby playing a central role in DNA synthesis and repair. We investigated two TYMS functional variants (a 28-bp tandem repeat in the promoter enhancer region of the 5'-UTR; and TYMS 1494del6 (rs16430): a 6-bp deletion in the 3'-UTR) for their risk of cleft palate (CP) and of cleft lip with/without CP (CLP). We investigated effect measure modification between these variants and maternal folate intake for cleft risk.This case-control study included deliveries from July 1999 to June 2003 from select areas of California. Case groups included CLP or CP alone. Nonmalformed, liveborn controls were randomly selected. Maternal interviews provided information on vitamin use and dietary folate intake. DNA was derived from newborn bloodspots.Data were available for 304 CLP cases, 123 CP cases, and 581 controls. 1496del6 variants did not appear to influence risk of CP or CLP. Homozygosity for the 28-bp VNTR variant influenced CP risk (odds ratios, OR = 1.8, 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.1), particularly among Hispanic infants, OR 2.1 (1.0-4.6). Effect measure modification was observed between the 28-bp VNTR and combined folate intake for CP with an OR of 10.0 (1.6-60.9).Although these findings are consistent with biological mechanisms, they were based on relatively small sample sizes and may represent false-positive discoveries. Replication is warranted in other populations.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23114
View details for Web of Science ID 000314982400004
View details for PubMedID 23404871
A recent genome wide association study demonstrated the novel finding that variants in DGKK are associated with hypospadias. Our objectives were to determine whether this finding could be replicated in a more racially/ethnically diverse study population of California births and to provide a more comprehensive investigation of variants.We examined the association of 27 DGKK single nucleotide polymorphisms with hypospadias relative to population based nonmalformed controls born in selected California counties from 1990 to 2003. Analyses included a maximum of 928 controls and 665 cases (mild in 91, moderate in 336, severe in 221 and undetermined in 17). Results for mild and moderate cases were similar, so they were grouped together.For mild and moderate cases OR for 15 of the 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms had p values less than 0.05, with 2 less than 1 and the others ranging from 1.3 to 1.8. Among severe cases ORs tended to be closer to 1, and none of the p values were less than 0.05. Due to high linkage disequilibrium across the single nucleotide polymorphisms, haplotype analyses were conducted and 2 blocks were generated. These analyses identified a set of 8 variants associated with a threefold to fourfold increased risk relative to the most common haplotype, regardless of severity of the phenotype (OR 4.1, p <10(-4) for mild to moderate cases and 3.3, p = 0.001 for severe cases).This study confirms that DGKK variants are associated with hypospadias. Additional studies are needed to allow a more thorough investigation of DGKK variability and to delineate the mechanism by which DGKK contributes to urethral development.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.juro.2012.09.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000312604800107
View details for PubMedID 23177175
View details for PubMedID 23737996
Few studies have evaluated genetic susceptibility related to diabetes and obesity as a risk factor for neural tube defects (NTDs). The authors investigated 23 single nucleotide polymorphisms among 9 genes (ADRB3, ENPP1, FTO, LEP, PPARG, PPARGC1A, SLC2A2, TCF7L2, and UCP2) associated with type 2 diabetes or obesity. Samples were obtained from 737 NTD case-parent triads included in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study during 1999-2007. Log-linear models were used to evaluate maternal and offspring genetic effects. After application of the false discovery rate, there were 5 significant maternal genetic effects. The less common alleles at the 4 FTO single nucleotide polymorphisms showed a reduction of NTD risk (for rs1421085, relative risk (RR) = 0.73 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.62, 0.87); for rs8050136, RR = 0.79 (95% CI: 0.67, 0.93); for rs9939609, RR = 0.79 (95% CI: 0.67, 0.94); and for rs17187449, RR = 0.80 (95% CI: 0.68, 0.95)). Additionally, maternal LEP rs2071045 (RR = 1.31, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.60) and offspring UCP2 rs660339 (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.64) were associated with NTD risk. Furthermore, the maternal genotype for TCF7L2 rs3814573 suggested an increased NTD risk among obese women. These findings indicate that maternal genetic variants associated with glucose homeostasis may modify the risk of having an NTD-affected pregnancy.
View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kws190
View details for Web of Science ID 000312634900006
View details for PubMedID 23132673
Prepregnancy diabetes and obesity have been identified as independent risk factors for several birth defects, providing support for a mechanism that involves hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia in the development of malformations. Data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study from 1997 to 2007 were used to investigate the association between the maternal dietary glycemic index (DGI) and the risk of birth defects among nondiabetic women. DGI was categorized by using spline regression models and quartile distributions. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. The joint effect of DGI and obesity was also examined. Among the 53 birth defects analyzed, high DGI, categorized by spline regression, was significantly associated with encephalocele (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.68), diaphragmatic hernia (aOR = 2.58), small intestinal atresia/stenosis (aOR = 2.97) including duodenal atresia/stenosis (aOR = 2.48), and atrial septal defect (aOR = 1.37). Using quartiles to categorize DGI, the authors identified associations with cleft lip with cleft palate (aOR = 1.23) and anorectal atresia/stenosis (aOR = 1.40). The joint effect of high DGI and obesity provided evidence of a synergistic effect on the risk of selected birth defects. High DGI is associated with an increased risk of a number of birth defects under study. Obesity coupled with high DGI appears to increase the risk further for some birth defects.
View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kws201
View details for Web of Science ID 000312634900007
View details for PubMedID 23171874
To evaluate trends in survival among children with spina bifida by race/ethnicity and possible prognostic factors in 10 regions of the United States.A retrospective cohort study was conducted of 5165 infants with spina bifida born during 1979-2003, identified by 10 birth defects registries in the United States. Survival probabilities and adjusted hazard ratios were estimated for race/ethnicity and other characteristics using the Cox proportional hazard model.During the study period, the 1-year survival probability among infants with spina bifida showed improvements for whites (from 88% to 96%), blacks (from 79% to 88%), and Hispanics (from 88% to 93%). The impact of race/ethnicity on survival varied by birth weight, which was the strongest predictor of survival through age 8. There was little racial/ethnic variation in survival among children born of very low birth weight. Among children born of low birth weight, the increased risk of mortality to Hispanics was approximately 4-6 times that of whites. The black-white disparity was greatest among children born of normal birth weight. Congenital heart defects did not affect the risk of mortality among very low birth weight children but increased the risk of mortality 4-fold among children born of normal birth weight.The survival of infants born with spina bifida has improved; however, improvements in survival varied by race/ethnicity, and blacks and Hispanics continued to have poorer survival than whites in the most recent birth cohort from 1998-2002. Further studies are warranted to elucidate possible reasons for the observed differences in survival.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.05.040
View details for Web of Science ID 000311348400032
View details for PubMedID 22727874
To test the hypothesis that the weight-for-stature (WFS) and BMI methods are not equivalent in determining expected body weight (EBW) in adolescents with eating disorders and to determine the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of each method to detect those <75% EBW. We hypothesized that differences in EBW would be greatest at the extremes of height.EBW was determined for 12 047 individual adolescents aged 12 to 19 years by the WFS and BMI methods by utilizing the same National Center for Health Statistics data sets. Absolute difference between the 2 methods for each individual was calculated and plotted against height by using a generalized additive model. The number of individuals whose weights were <75% EBW was determined by each method.For girls, EBW was 3.52 ± 3.13% higher when using the WFS method compared with the BMI method. For boys, EBW(WFS) was 3.45 ± 2.72% higher than EBW(BMI). Among adolescent girls, 65% had EBW(WFS) higher than EBW(BMI). By using the EBW(WFS) method as the gold standard, specificity of the EBW(BMI) method to detect those <75% EBW was 0.999, but sensitivity was only 0.329. Absolute differences in EBW were most pronounced at the extremes of height.The WFS and BMI methods are not equivalent in determining EBW in adolescents and are not interchangeable. EBW(WFS) was ~3.5% higher than EBW(BMI). In adolescents with eating disorders, use of the BMI method will underestimate the degree of malnutrition compared with the WFS method. Which method better predicts meaningful clinical outcomes remains to be determined.
View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2012-0897
View details for Web of Science ID 000314802000024
View details for PubMedID 23147977
Few studies have investigated the potential association of maternal dietary intake and risk of microtia among offspring.The study included deliveries from 1997 to 2005 from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Nonsyndromic cases of microtia were compared to nonmalformed, population-based, live-born control infants by estimating adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) from logistic regression models that included maternal race or ethnicity, education, folic acid-containing supplement intake, fertility treatment, study site, and total energy intake.Comparing intake in the lowest 10th percentile versus the 10th to 90th percentiles, lower maternal intakes of carbohydrate (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.07-2.38) and dietary folate (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.09-2.25) were associated with elevated risk of microtia. In addition, results suggested that higher diet quality (as measured by the Diet Quality Index, and comparing the highest with the lowest quartile) was protective, but the CI did not exclude one (OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.50-1.07). Results were similar among obese and nonobese women.These data contribute to the limited body of evidence regarding the potential contribution of maternal nutrition to the etiology of microtia.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23053
View details for Web of Science ID 000312527100010
View details for PubMedID 22821770
Limited information is available about the association of maternal weight gain during pregnancy and birth defects. The objective of this study was to investigate the association of maternal weight gain with neural tube defects (NTDs) and gastroschisis among offspring.We used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, an ongoing multicenter, population-based, case-control study. Mothers of cases and controls were interviewed by telephone. Analyses included 255 anencephaly, 577 spina bifida, 648 gastroschisis cases, and 5587 controls with deliveries from 1999 to 2005. After subtracting birth weight, the associations of total and average weekly weight gain (kg) with each phenotype were estimated, stratified by gestational age (<37 vs. ?37 weeks) and adjusted for relevant covariates.Among deliveries <37 weeks gestation, mothers of infants with anencephaly and spina bifida had lower weight gains compared to control mothers; no association between weight gains and gastroschisis was observed. Among deliveries ?37 weeks, mothers of infants with anencephaly had lower weight gains during pregnancy; a similar association was not observed for spina bifida; mothers of infants with gastroschisis were twice as likely to have weight gains in the highest quartile. Stratification by maternal age (gastroschisis) or body mass index (BMI) or race/ethnicity (all phenotypes) did not alter odds ratio estimates.Altered weight gain during pregnancy may be a consequence of carrying an NTD/gastroschisis affected fetus or a marker for underlying factors common to the etiology of these birth defects. It is possible that whatever mechanisms influence weight gain may also influence the development of NTDs and gastroschisis, but in opposite directions.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23057
View details for Web of Science ID 000312527100009
View details for PubMedID 22847944
Maternal nutritional status has been evaluated to clarify its role in development of neural tube defects (NTDs). Maternal folate intake during pregnancy has been closely evaluated for its association with NTDs. The study objective was to examine associations between NTDs and other dietary periconceptional micronutrient intake, particularly nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism or antioxidant activity.Using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997-2005, logistic regression models were used to estimate the relative risk of NTDs based on maternal micronutrient intake.Results were stratified according to folic acid supplement use, race/ethnicity, and maternal body mass index. Analyses included 954 cases (300 with anencephaly, 654 with spina bifida) and 6268 controls. Higher intakes of folate, thiamin, betaine, iron, and vitamin A were associated with decreased risk of anencephaly among some ethnic and clinical groups. In some groups, higher intakes of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B(6) , vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, and retinol were associated with decreased risk of spina bifida.In addition to folic acid, other micronutrients, including thiamin, betaine, riboflavin, vitamin B(6) , vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, iron, retinol, and vitamin A, may decrease the risk of NTD occurrence. Birth Defects Research (Part A) 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23068
View details for Web of Science ID 000311234400002
View details for PubMedID 22933447
Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)) is an essential cofactor and an important cellular antioxidant. BH(4) deficiency has been associated with diseases whose etiologies stem from excessive oxidative stress. GTP cyclohydrolase I (GCH1) catalyzes the first and rate-limiting step of de novo BH(4) synthesis. A 3-SNP haplotype in GCH1 (rs8007267, rs3783641, and rs10483639) is known to modulate GCH1 gene expression levels and has been suggested as a major determinant of plasma BH(4) bioavailability. As plasma BH(4) bioavailability has been suggested as a mechanism of neural tube defect (NTD) teratogenesis, we evaluated the association between this GCH1 haplotype and the risk of NTDs. Samples were obtained from 760 NTD case-parent triads included in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS). The three SNPs were genotyped using TaqMan® SNP assays. An extension of the log-linear model was used to assess the association between NTDs and both offspring and maternal haplotypes. Offspring carrying two copies of haplotype C-T-C had a significantly increased NTD risk (risk ratio [RR]=3.40, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02-11.50), after adjusting for the effect of the maternal haplotype. Additionally, mothers carrying two copies of haplotype C-T-C had a significantly increased risk of having an NTD-affected offspring (RR=3.46, 95% CI: 1.05-11.00), after adjusting for the effect of the offspring haplotype. These results suggest offspring and maternal variation in the GCH1 gene and altered BH(4) biosynthesis may contribute to NTD risk.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ymgme.2012.09.020
View details for Web of Science ID 000310720200050
View details for PubMedID 23059057
There is evidence in experimental model systems that exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) results in congenital heart defects (CHDs); however, to our knowledge, this relationship has not been examined in humans. Therefore, we conducted a case-control study assessing the association between estimated maternal occupational exposure to PAHs and CHDs in offspring.Data on CHD cases and control infants were obtained from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study for the period of 1997 to 2002. Exposure to PAHs was assigned by industrial hygienist consensus, based on self-reported maternal occupational histories from 1 month before conception through the third month of pregnancy. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between maternal occupational PAH exposure and specific CHD phenotypic subtypes among offspring.The prevalence of occupational PAH exposure was 4.0% in CHD case mothers (76/1907) and 3.6% in control mothers (104/2853). After adjusting for maternal age, race or ethnicity, education, smoking, folic acid supplementation, and study center, exposure was not associated with conotruncal defects (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58-1.67), septal defects (AOR, 1.28; 95% CI, 0.86-1.90), or with any isolated CHD subtype.Our findings do not support an association between potential maternal occupational exposure to PAHs and various CHDs in a large, population-based study. For CHD phenotypic subtypes in which modest nonsignificant associations were observed, future investigations could be improved by studying populations with a higher prevalence of PAH exposure and by incorporating information on maternal and fetal genotypes related to PAH metabolism. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2012.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23071
View details for Web of Science ID 000311234400003
View details for PubMedID 22945317
Although the descriptive epidemiology of atrioventricular septal defects (AVSDs), a group of serious congenital heart defects (CHDs), has been recently reported, non-genetic risk factors have not been consistently identified. Using data (1997-2005) from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, an ongoing multisite population-based case-control study, the association between selected non-genetic factors and non-syndromic AVSDs was examined. Data on periconceptional exposures to such factors were collected by telephone interview from 187 mothers of AVSD case infants and 6,703 mothers of unaffected infants. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated from logistic regression models. Mothers who reported cigarette smoking during the periconceptional period were more likely to have infants with AVSDs compared with non-smokers, independent of maternal age, periconceptional alcohol consumption, infant gestational age, family history of CHDs, and study site (aOR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.4). The association was strongest in mothers who smoked more than 25 cigarettes/day. In addition, mothers with periconceptional passive smoke exposure were more likely to have infants with AVSDs than unexposed mothers, independent of maternal age, active periconceptional smoking, infant gestational age, and family history of CHDs (aOR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-2.0). No associations were observed between AVSDs and maternal history of a urinary tract infection or pelvic inflammatory disease, maternal use of a wide variety of medications, maternal occupational exposure, parental drug use, or maternal alcohol consumption. If the results of this preliminary study can be replicated, minimizing maternal active and passive smoke exposure may decrease the incidence of AVSDs.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.35555
View details for Web of Science ID 000310070700012
Spina bifida is one of the most common of all human structural birth defects. Despite considerable effort over several decades, the causes and mechanisms underlying this malformation remain poorly characterized.To better understand the pathogenesis of this abnormality, we conducted a microarray study using Mouse Whole Genome Bioarrays which have ~36,000 gene targets, to compare gene expression profiles between two mouse models; CXL-Splotch and FKBP8(Gt(neo)) which express a similar spina bifida phenotype. We anticipated that there would be a collection of overlapping genes or shared genetic pathways at the molecular level indicative of a common mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of spina bifida during embryonic development.A total of 54 genes were determined to be differentially expressed (25 downregulated, 29 upregulated) in the FKBP8Gt((neo)) mouse embryos; whereas 73 genes were differentially expressed (56 downregulated, 17 upregulated) in the CXL-Splotch mouse relative to their wild-type controls. Remarkably, the only two genes that showed decreased expression in both mutants were v-ski sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (Ski), and Zic1, a transcription factor member of the zinc finger family. Confirmation analysis using quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR indicated that only Zic1 was significantly decreased in both mutants. Gene ontology analysis revealed striking enrichment of genes associated with mesoderm and central nervous system development in the CXL-Splotch mutant embryos, whereas in the FKBP8(Gt(neo)) mutants, the genes involved in dorsal/ventral pattern formation, cell fate specification, and positive regulation of cell differentiation were most likely to be enriched. These results indicate that there are multiple pathways and gene networks perturbed in mouse embryos with shared phenotypes.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23081
View details for Web of Science ID 000310068400006
View details for PubMedID 23024056
Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common, serious malformations with a complex etiology that suggests involvement of both genetic and environmental factors. The authors evaluated maternal or offspring folate-related gene variants and interactions between the gene variants and maternal intake of folates on the risk of NTDs in their offspring. A case-control study was conducted on mothers and/or their fetuses and infants who were born in California from 1999 to 2003 with an NTD (cases n = 222, including 24 mother-infant pairs) or without a major malformation (controls n = 454, including 186 mother-infant pairs). Maternal intake of folates was assessed by food frequency questionnaire and genotyping was performed on samples from mothers and infants. For mothers in the lowest folate-intake group, risk of NTDs in offspring was significantly decreased for maternal MTHFR SNPs rs1476413, rs1801131, and rs1801133 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.55, 80% confidence interval [CI]: 0.20, 1.48; OR = 0.58, 80% CI: 0.24, 1.43; OR = 0.69, 80% CI: 0.41, 1.17, respectively), and TYMS SNPs rs502396 and rs699517 (OR = 0.91, 80% CI: 0.53, 1.56; OR = 0.70, 80% CI: 0.38, 1.29). A gene-only effect was observed for maternal SHMT1 SNP rs669340 (OR?=?0.69, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.96). When there was low maternal folate intake, risk of NTDs was significantly increased for infant MTHFD1 SNPs rs2236224, rs2236225, and rs11627387 (OR = 1.58, 80% CI: 0.99, 2.51; OR = 1.53, 80% CI: 0.95, 2.47; OR = 4.25, 80% CI: 2.33, 7.75, respectively) and SHMT1 SNP rs12939757 (OR = 2.01, 80% CI: 1.20, 3.37), but decreased for TYMS SNP rs2847153 (OR = 0.73, 80% CI: 0.37, 1.45). Although power to detect interaction effects was low for this birth defects association study, the gene-folate interactions observed in this study represent preliminary findings that will be useful for informing future studies on the complex etiology of NTDs.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.35552
View details for Web of Science ID 000310070700011
View details for PubMedID 22903727
This study evaluated whether there is an association between maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. This is the first such study of which the authors are aware.Data were analyzed from 1997 to 2002 deliveries in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a large population-based case-control study in the United States. Maternal interviews yielded information on jobs held in the month before through 3 months after conception. Three industrial hygienists blinded to case or control status assessed occupational exposure to PAHs. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression.Of the 520 mothers of children with NTDs, 5.0% were classified as exposed to occupational PAHs, as were 3.5% of the 2989 mothers of controls. The crude OR for PAH exposure was 1.43 (95% CI, 0.92-2.22) for any NTD and 1.71 (95% CI, 1.03-2.83) for spina bifida. Adjusted ORs were smaller in magnitude and not significant. Among women who were normal weight or underweight, the crude OR for spina bifida was 3.13 (95% CI, 1.63-6.03) and adjusted OR was 2.59 (95% CI, 1.32-5.07). Based on estimated cumulative exposure, a statistically significant dose-response trend was observed for spina bifida; however, it was attenuated and no longer significant after adjustment.Maternal occupational exposure to PAHs may be associated with increased risk of spina bifida in offspring among women who are normal weight or underweight. Other comparisons between PAHs and NTDs were consistent with no association.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23045
View details for Web of Science ID 000308473800003
View details for PubMedID 22807044
In this study, we investigated whether the two TYMS functional variants (28?bp VNTR and 1494del6) (275 cases and 653 controls) and six selected SNPs (265 case infants, 535 control infants; 169 case mothers and 276 control mothers) were associated with risks of conotruncal heart defects. Further, we evaluated interaction effects between these gene variants and maternal folate intake for risk of CTD. Cases with diagnosis of single gene disorders or chromosomal aneusomies were excluded. Controls were randomly selected from area hospitals in proportion to their contribution to the total population of live-born infants. DNA samples were collected using buccal brushes or drawn from the repository of newborn screening blood specimens when available. Genetic variants were treated as categorical variables (homozygous referent, heterozygote, homozygous variant). Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed to estimate risks among all subjects, Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites, respectively, using logistic regression. Gene-folate interactions were assessed for these variants by adding an interaction term to the logistic model. A dichotomized composite variable, "combined folate intake," was created by combining maternal peri-conceptional use of folic acid-containing vitamin supplements with daily dietary intake of folate. In general, the results do not show strong gene-only effects on risk of CTD. We did, however, observe a 3.6-fold increase in CTD risk (95% CI: 1.1-11.9) among infants who were homozygotes for the 6?bp deletion in the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) (1694del6) and whose mothers had low folate intake during the peri-conceptional period.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.35310
View details for Web of Science ID 000310068700015
View details for PubMedID 22887475
This review evaluates current knowledge related to trends in the prevalence of hypospadias, the association of hypospadias with endocrine-disrupting exposures, and the potential contribution of genetic susceptibility to its etiology. The review focuses on epidemiologic evidence. Increasing prevalence of hypospadias has been observed, but such increases tend to be localized to specific regions or time periods. Thus, generalized statements that hypospadias is increasing are unsupported. Owing to the limitations of study designs and inconsistent results, firm conclusions cannot be made regarding the association of endocrine-disrupting exposures with hypospadias. Studies with more rigorous study designs (e.g., larger and more detailed phenotypes) and exposure assessment that encompasses more breadth and depth (e.g., specific endocrine-related chemicals) will be critical to make better inferences about these important environmental exposures. Many candidate genes for hypospadias have been identified, but few of them have been examined to an extent that enables solid conclusions. Further study is needed that includes larger sample sizes, comparison groups that are more representative of the populations from which the cases were derived, phenotype-specific analyses, and more extensive exploration of variants. In conclusion, examining the associations of environmental and genetic factors with hypospadias remain important areas of inquiry, although our actual understanding of their contribution to hypospadias risk in humans is currently limited.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.23021
View details for Web of Science ID 000306186100001
View details for PubMedID 22678668
We examined whether hypospadias was associated with several aspects of the diet, including intake of animal products, intake of several nutrients and food groups related to a vegetarian diet and oestrogen metabolism, and diet quality.The study included deliveries from 1997 to 2005 that were part of the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Diet was assessed by food frequency questionnaire during maternal telephone interviews, and two diet quality indices were developed based on existing indices. Analyses included 1250 cases with second- or third-degree hypospadias (urethra opened at the penile shaft, scrotum or perineum) and 3118 male, liveborn, non-malformed controls. All odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals [CI] were estimated from logistic regression models that included several potential confounders, including energy intake.Intake of animal products was not associated with hypospadias; for example, the adjusted OR for any vs. no intake of meat was 1.0 [95% CI 0.6, 1.6]. Frequency of intake of meat or other animal products was also not associated with hypospadias, nor was intake of iron or several nutrients that are potentially related to oestrogen metabolism. Diet quality was also not associated with hypospadias; the OR for diet quality in the highest vs. lowest quartile for the two diet quality indices were 1.0 [95% CI 0.6, 1.6] and 0.9 [95% CI 0.7, 1.1].This large study does not support an association of a vegetarian diet or worse diet quality with hypospadias.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1365-3016.2012.01272.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000305121500013
View details for PubMedID 22686387
To examine whether the incidence of childhood cancer is elevated in children with birth defects but no chromosomal anomalies.We examined cancer risk in a population-based cohort of children with and without major birth defects born between 1988 and 2004, by linking data from the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, the California Cancer Registry, and birth certificates. Cox proportional hazards models generated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs based on person-years at risk. We compared the risk of childhood cancer in infants born with and without specific types of birth defects, excluding infants with chromosomal anomalies.Of the 4869 children in the birth cohort with cancer, 222 had a major birth defect. Although the expected elevation in cancer risk was observed in children with chromosomal birth defects (HR, 12.44; 95% CI, 10.10-15.32), especially for the leukemias (HR, 28.99; 95% CI, 23.07-36.42), children with nonchromosomal birth defects also had an increased risk of cancer (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.33-1.87), but instead for brain tumors, lymphomas, neuroblastoma, and germ cell tumors.Children with nonchromosomal birth defects are at increased risk for solid tumors, but not leukemias. Dysregulation of early human development likely plays an important role in the etiology of childhood cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.12.006
View details for Web of Science ID 000304377300019
View details for PubMedID 22244463
Exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) occurs in many occupational settings. There is evidence in animal models that maternal exposure to PAHs during pregnancy is associated with gastroschisis in offspring; however, to our knowledge, no human studies examining this association have been conducted.Our goal was to conduct a case-control study assessing the association between estimated maternal occupational exposure to PAHs and gastroschisis in offspring.Data from gastroschisis cases and control infants were obtained from the population-based National Birth Defects Prevention Study for the period 1997-2002. Exposure to PAHs was assigned by industrial hygienist consensus, based on self-reported maternal occupational histories from 1 month before conception through the third month of pregnancy. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between estimated occupational PAH exposure and gastroschisis among children whose mothers were employed for at least 1 month during the month before conception through the third month of pregnancy.The prevalence of estimated occupational PAH exposure was 9.0% in case mothers (27 of 299) and 3.6% in control mothers (107 of 2,993). Logistic regression analyses indicated a significant association between occupational PAHs and gastroschisis among mothers ? 20 years of age [odds ratio (OR) = 2.53; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.27, 5.04] after adjusting for maternal body mass index, education, gestational diabetes, and smoking. This association was not seen in mothers < 20 years (OR = 1.14; 95% CI: 0.55, 2.33), which is notable because although young maternal age is the strongest known risk factor for gastroschisis, most cases are born to mothers ? 20 years.Our findings indicate an association between occupational exposure to PAHs among mothers who are ? 20 years and gastroschisis. These results contribute to a body of evidence that PAHs may be teratogenic.
View details for DOI 10.1289/ehp.1104305
View details for Web of Science ID 000304765700034
View details for PubMedID 22330681
We evaluated 35 variants among four folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism pathway genes, MTHFD1, SHMT1, MTHFR, and DHFR as risk factors for conotruncal heart defects. Cases with a diagnosis of single gene disorders or chromosomal aneusomies were excluded. Controls were randomly selected from area hospitals in proportion to their contribution to the total population of live-born infants. Odds ratios (OR) and the 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed for each genotype (homozygous variant or heterozygote, vs. homozygous wildtype) and for increase of each less common allele (log-additive model). Interactions between each variant and three folate intake variables (maternal multivitamin use, maternal dietary folate intake, and combined maternal folate intake) were also evaluated under the log-additive model. In general, we did not identify notable associations. The A allele of MTHFD1 rs11627387 was associated with a 1.7-fold increase in conotruncal defects risk in both Hispanic mothers (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.1-2.5) and Hispanic infants (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.3). The T allele of MTHFR rs1801133 was associated with a 2.8-fold increase of risk among Hispanic women whose dietary folate intake was ? 25th centile. The C allele of MTHFR rs1801131 was associated with a two-fold increase of risk (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.0-3.9) only among those whose dietary folate intake was >25th centile. Our study suggested that MTHFD1 rs11627387 may be associated with risk of conotruncal defects through both maternal and offspring genotype effect among the Hispanics. Maternal functional variants in MTHFR gene may interact with dietary folate intake and modify the conotruncal defects risk in the offspring.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.35313
View details for Web of Science ID 000303000200022
View details for PubMedID 22495907
Although maternal serum ?-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonandotropin (hCG), and estriol play important roles in immunomodulation and immunoregulation during pregnancy, their relationship with the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in young infants is unknown despite BPD being associated with pre- and postnatal inflammatory factors.We found that these serum biomarkers were associated with an increased risk of BPD. Risks were especially high when AFP and/or hCG levels were above the 95th percentile and/or when unconjugated estriol (uE3) levels were below the 5th percentile (relative risks (RRs) 3.1-6.7). Risks increased substantially when two or more biomarker risks were present (RRs 9.9-75.9).Data suggested that pregnancies that had a biomarker risk and yielded an offspring with BPD were more likely to have other factors present that suggested early intrauterine fetal adaptation to stress, including maternal hypertension and asymmetric growth restriction.The objective of this population-based study was to examine whether second-trimester levels of AFP, hCG, and uE3 were associated with an increased risk of BPD.
View details for DOI 10.1038/pr.2011.73
View details for Web of Science ID 000301884500013
View details for PubMedID 22391642
To examine whether better maternal diet quality was associated with reduced risk for selected birth defects.A multicenter, population-based case-control study, the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.Ten participating centers in the United States.Eligible subjects' estimated due dates were from October 1997 through December 2005. Telephone interviews were conducted with 72% of case and 67% of control mothers. Analyses included 936 cases with neural tube defects (NTDs), 2475 with orofacial clefts, and 6147 nonmalformed controls.Food-frequency data were used to calculate the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) and Diet Quality Index (DQI), modeled after existing indices.Adjusted odds ratios (ORs).After covariate adjustment, increasing diet quality based on either index was associated with reduced risks for the birth defects studied. The strongest association was between anencephaly and DQI; the OR for highest vs lowest quartile was 0.49 (95% CI, 0.31-0.75). The ORs for cleft lip with or without cleft palate and cleft palate and DQI were also notable (0.66 [95% CI, 0.54-0.81] and 0.74 [95%CI, 0.56-0.96], respectively).Healthier maternal dietary patterns, as measured by diet quality scores, were associated with reduced risks of NTDs and clefts. These results suggest that dietary approaches could lead to further reduction in risks of major birth defects and complement existing efforts to fortify foods and encourage periconceptional multivitamin use.
View details for DOI 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.185
View details for Web of Science ID 000301211000002
View details for PubMedID 21969361
This study examined the association between paternal age and a wide range of structural birth defects. Data were drawn from The California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, a population-based active surveillance system for collecting information on infants and fetuses with defects born between 1989 and 2002. The analysis included 46,114 cases with defects, plus a random sample of 36,838 non-malformed births. After adjustment for maternal age, risks of anomalies of the nervous system for 38 and 42 year-old fathers, as compared to 29 year-old fathers, were 1.05-fold [1.00, 1.11] and 1.10-fold [1.02, 1.18] higher, respectively. Similar results were observed for anomalies of the limbs, where 38 and 42 year-old fathers had a 1.06-fold [1.02, 1.11] and 1.11-fold [1.05, 1.18] higher risk, respectively. Risks of anomalies of the integument were 1.05-fold [1.00, 1.09] and 1.10-fold [1.03, 1.16] higher for 38 and 42 year olds, respectively. Young paternal age, i.e., less than 29 years, was associated with an increased risk of amniotic bands (OR: 0.87 [0.78, 0.97]), pyloric stenosis (OR: 0.93 [0.90, 0.96]) and anomalies of the great veins (OR: 0.93 [0.87, 1.00]). In sum, both advanced and young paternal age was associated with select birth defects in California between 1989 and 2002.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s10995-011-0759-z
View details for Web of Science ID 000299370400013
View details for PubMedID 21344170
Spina bifida refers to a collection of neural tube defects, including myelomeningocele, meningocele, and myelocele (SB(M) ), as well as lipomyelomeningocele and lipomeningocele (SB(L) ). Maternal race/ethnicity has been associated with an increased risk for spina bifida among offspring. To better understand this relationship, we evaluated different spina bifida subtypes (SB(M) vs. SB(L) ) and sub-phenotypes (anatomic level or presence of additional malformations) by maternal race/ethnicity using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. This study is a large, multisite, population-based study of nonsyndromic birth defects. Prevalence estimates were obtained using data from spina bifida cases (live births, fetal deaths, and elective terminations) and total live births in the study regions. From October 1997 through December 2005, 1,046 infants/fetuses with spina bifida were delivered, yielding a prevalence of 3.06 per 10,000 live births. Differences in the prevalences of SB(M) vs. SB(L) , isolated versus non-isolated SB(M) , and lesion level in isolated SB(M) among case offspring were observed by maternal race/ethnicity. Compared to non-Hispanic (NH) White mothers, offspring of Hispanic mothers had higher prevalences of each subtype and most sub-phenotypes, while offspring of NH Black mothers generally had lower prevalences. Furthermore, differences in race/ethnicity among those with isolated SB(M) were more pronounced by sex. For instance, among male offspring, the prevalence of isolated SB(M) was significantly higher for those with Hispanic mothers compared to NH White mothers [prevalence ratio (PR): 1.55, 95% confidence interval: 1.23-1.95]. These findings provide evidence that certain spina bifida subtypes and sub-phenotypes may be etiologically distinct.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.34383
View details for Web of Science ID 000299381800016
View details for PubMedID 22140002
Despite compelling epidemiological evidence that folic acid supplements reduce the frequency of neural tube defects (NTDs) in newborns, common variant association studies with folate metabolism genes have failed to explain the majority of NTD risk. The contribution of rare alleles as well as genetic interactions within the folate pathway have not been extensively studied in the context of NTDs. Thus, we sequenced the exons in 31 folate-related genes in a 480-member NTD case-control population to identify the full spectrum of allelic variation and determine whether rare alleles or obvious genetic interactions within this pathway affect NTD risk. We constructed a pathway model, predetermined independent of the data, which grouped genes into coherent sets reflecting the distinct metabolic compartments in the folate/one-carbon pathway (purine synthesis, pyrimidine synthesis, and homocysteine recycling to methionine). By integrating multiple variants based on these groupings, we uncovered two provocative, complex genetic risk signatures. Interestingly, these signatures differed by race/ethnicity: a Hispanic risk profile pointed to alterations in purine biosynthesis, whereas that in non-Hispanic whites implicated homocysteine metabolism. In contrast, parallel analyses that focused on individual alleles, or individual genes, as the units by which to assign risk revealed no compelling associations. These results suggest that the ability to layer pathway relationships onto clinical variant data can be uniquely informative for identifying genetic risk as well as for generating mechanistic hypotheses. Furthermore, the identification of ethnic-specific risk signatures for spina bifida resonated with epidemiological data suggesting that the underlying pathogenesis may differ between Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0028408
View details for Web of Science ID 000298168100069
View details for PubMedID 22140583
We investigated multiple sources of folate and folic acid to determine whether their periconceptional intakes were associated with preterm delivery. Studied were controls from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study delivered September 1998 to December 2005. Telephone interviews were conducted with 5952 (68% of eligible) mothers. Women were queried about intake of vitamin supplements in the 12 weeks before conception through delivery. A version of the Nurse's Health Study food frequency questionnaire was used to assess food sources. Eight percent of infants ( N?=?487) were preterm (<37 weeks). Compared with women who began intake of supplements with folic acid before pregnancy, those who began any time during pregnancy had an ~20% lowered risk of preterm delivery. Lower dietary intakes showed a modest increased risk of preterm delivery: odds ratios were 1.44 (1.01 to 2.04) for lowest quartile intake of folate and 1.27 (0.95 to 1.69) for lowest quartile intake of folic acid compared with the highest. Findings suggest some evidence that folates influenced risks; however, an interpretation of results was also consistent with no association between intake of folates and preterm delivery.
View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0031-1280855
View details for Web of Science ID 000298200500002
View details for PubMedID 21681695
Phytoestrogens may be associated with a variety of different health outcomes, including outcomes related to reproductive health. Recently published data on phytoestrogen content of a wide range of foods provide an opportunity to improve estimation of dietary phytoestrogen intake.Using the recently published data, we estimated intake among a representative sample of 6,584 women of reproductive age from a multi-site, population-based case-control study, the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS). The NBDPS uses a shortened version of the Willett food frequency questionnaire to estimate dietary intake during the year before pregnancy. We estimated intake among NBDPS control mothers.Lignans contributed 65% of total phytoestrogen intake; isoflavones, 29%; and coumestrol, 5%. Top contributors to total phytoestrogen intake were vegetables (31%) and fruit (29%); for isoflavones, dairy (33%) and fruit (21%); for lignans, vegetables (40%) and fruit (29%); and for coumestans, fruit (55%) and dairy (18%). Hispanic women had higher phytoestrogen intake than non-Hispanic white or black women. Associations with maternal age and folic acid-containing supplements were more modest but indicated that older mothers and mothers taking supplements had higher intake.The advantage of the approach used for the current analysis lies in its utilization of phytoestrogen values derived from a single laboratory that used state-of-the-art measurement techniques. The database we developed can be applied directly to other studies using food frequency questionnaires, especially the Willett questionnaire. The database, combined with consistent dietary intake assessment, provides an opportunity to improve our ability to understand potential associations of phytoestrogen intake with health outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1186/1475-2891-10-105
View details for Web of Science ID 000295960300001
View details for PubMedID 21978267
A recent workshop highlighted the current challenges and new opportunities for studying the role of genetic factors in the etiology of human birth defects. The workshop provided a series of recommendations pertaining to the use of animal models, key elements of population-based designs, the need for national collaborative projects, biorepositories, and consortia, investigation of new types of structural genetic variants, examination of gene-exposure interactions, and a strategy for gene variant discovery. A key reason to hold the recent workshop and contribute this concise communication to the literature is to draw attention to and initiate action toward advancing discoveries about the genetic etiologies of birth defects.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.34103
View details for Web of Science ID 000294088100005
View details for PubMedID 21739590
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common of all birth defects, yet molecular mechanism(s) underlying highly prevalent atrial septal defects (ASDs) and ventricular septal defects (VSDs) have remained elusive. We demonstrate the indispensability of "balanced" posttranslational small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) conjugation-deconjugation pathway for normal cardiac development. Both hetero- and homozygous SUMO-1 knockout mice exhibited ASDs and VSDs with high mortality rates, which were rescued by cardiac reexpression of the SUMO-1 transgene. Because SUMO-1 was also involved in cleft lip/palate in human patients, the previous findings provided a powerful rationale to question whether SUMO-1 was mutated in infants born with cleft palates and ASDs. Sequence analysis of DNA from newborn screening blood spots revealed a single 16 bp substitution in the SUMO-1 regulatory promoter of a patient displaying both oral-facial clefts and ASDs. Diminished sumoylation activity whether by genetics, environmental toxins, and/or pharmaceuticals may significantly contribute to susceptibility to the induction of congenital heart disease worldwide. Birth Defects Research (Part A) 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.20816
View details for Web of Science ID 000291545100007
View details for PubMedID 21563299
Gastroschisis is increasing in many countries, especially among young women. Because young women may have inadequate nutrition, we assessed the relationship between individual nutrients and the risk for gastroschisis.We analyzed data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a population-based case-control study. Cases were ascertained from 10 birth defect surveillance systems. Controls were randomly selected from birth certificates or hospital records. Nutrient intake was estimated for the year prior to conception from maternal interviews based on a 58-item food frequency questionnaire and cereal consumption reported. A total of 694 cases and 6157 controls were available for analysis.Reported intake of individual nutrients did not substantially affect the risk for gastroschisis. Stratification by maternal age, preconception body mass index, folic acid-containing supplements, or energy intake (kilocalories) did not alter risk estimates.This study does not support an increased risk for gastroschisis with decreasing tertiles of individual nutrients.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.12.053
View details for Web of Science ID 000290206200025
View details for PubMedID 21396620
Newborn screening programs store-under varying conditions-residual dried blood spots (DBS). Residual DBS were used to investigate the contribution of congenital infection with Toxoplasma gondii to the etiology of hydrocephalus and as a key step, we assessed the effect of storage conditions on the stability of newborn screening biomarkers.Infants with hydrocephalus (410 cases) were identified using population-based birth defects surveillance systems in California, North Carolina, and Texas. Infants without birth defects (448 controls) were randomly selected from the same geographic areas and time periods. California stores DBS with controlled temperature, while North Carolina and Texas store DBS under ambient conditions. After removal of personal identifiers, DBS were tested for Toxo-specific immunoglobulin-M (Toxo-IgM). Because of poor elution of DBS stored in ambient conditions, additional biomarkers were tested on a specimen subset.Among 858 DBS tested, Toxo-IgM was found in 3 cases and no controls from California (N=515) and in no specimens from North Carolina or Texas (N=343). Among the 98 specimens tested for selected biomarkers, statistically significant differences were found for California vs. combined North Carolina and Texas DBS (thyroid stimulating hormone, phenylalanine, methionine, leucine and citrulline p<0.0001; tyrosine and valine p<0.001).Storage conditions for residual DBS had an effect on the ability to extract, recover, and accurately measure Toxo-IgM and other biomarkers from the filter paper matrix.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cca.2010.11.028
View details for Web of Science ID 000286713800009
View details for PubMedID 21114968
To examine the association of craniosynostosis with maternal intake of folic acid-containing supplements and dietary nutrients.The study included deliveries from 1997 to 2005 from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Nonsyndromic infants with craniosynostosis (n = 815) were compared to nonmalformed, population-based liveborn control infants (n = 6789), by estimating adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) from logistic regression models that included mother's age, parity, race-ethnicity, education, body mass index, smoking, alcohol, fertility treatments, plurality, and study center. We compared quartiles of intake and specified nutrients as continuous.Intake of folic acid-containing supplements was not associated with craniosynostosis (AORs were close to 1). Analyses of dietary nutrients were restricted to mothers who took supplements during the first trimester (i.e., most women). Based on continuous specifications of nutrients, sagittal synostosis risk was significantly lower among women with higher intake of riboflavin and vitamins B?, E, and C; metopic synostosis risk was significantly higher among women with higher intakes of choline and vitamin B??; and coronal synostosis risk was significantly lower among women with higher intake of methionine and vitamin C. As examples, AORs for sagittal synostosis among women with intakes of vitamin B? and riboflavin in the highest versus lowest quartiles were 0.4 (95% CI, 0.2-0.6) and 0.5 (95% CI, 0.3-0.7), respectively.This analysis suggests that dietary intake of certain nutrients may be associated with craniosynostosis, and results may vary by suture type.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.20717
View details for Web of Science ID 000285396200006
View details for PubMedID 20842649
The study objective was to examine the association of microtia with maternal intake of folic-acid-containing supplements and obesity. The study data included deliveries from 1997 to 2005 from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Non-syndromic cases of microtia were compared to non-malformed, population-based liveborn control infants, by estimating adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) from logistic regression models that included maternal race/ethnicity, education, and study site. Maternal obesity was only weakly associated with microtia. Maternal periconceptional intake of folic-acid-containing vitamin supplements reduced the risk for microtia, but only among non-obese women (OR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.44-0.91). The reduced risk was stronger when analyses were restricted to isolated cases (OR: 0.51; 95% CI: 0.34-0.77), and it was independent of the level of maternal dietary folate intake. Adjusting for maternal race/ethnicity did not reveal alternative interpretations of this association. This analysis suggests that maternal periconceptional intake of folic-acid-containing supplements may provide protection from microtia for non-obese women.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.33694
View details for Web of Science ID 000284005700013
View details for PubMedID 20949601
Schizencephaly is a malformation of cortical development characterized by gray matter-lined clefts in the cerebral cortex and a range of neurological presentations. In some cases, there are features of septo-optic dysplasia concurrently with schizencephaly. The etiologies of both schizencephaly and septo-optic dysplasia are thought to be heterogeneous, but there is evidence that at least some cases have genetic origin. We hypothesized that these disorders may be caused by mutations in three candidate genes: LHX2, a gene with an important cortical patterning role, and HESX1 and SOX2, genes that have been associated with septo-optic dysplasia. We sequenced a large cohort of patients with schizencephaly, some with features of septo-optic dysplasia, for mutations in these genes. No pathogenic mutations were observed, suggesting that other genes or non-genetic factors influencing genes critical to brain development must be responsible for schizencephaly.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.33684
View details for Web of Science ID 000284005700010
View details for PubMedID 20949537
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that must be obtained in the diet or through supplementation. For >50 yr, it has been known that folate plays an integral role in embryonic development. In mice, inactivation of genes in the folate pathway results in malformations of the neural tube, heart, and craniofacial structures. It has been shown that diets and blood levels of women who had a fetus with a neural tube defect are low for several micronutrients, particularly folate. Periconceptional use of folic acid containing supplements decreased recurrent neural tube defects in the offspring of women with a previously affected child and the occurrence of a neural tube defect and possibly other birth defects in the offspring of women with no prior history. Based on these findings, the U.S. Public Health Service recommended that all women at risk take folic acid supplements, but many did not. Mandatory food fortification programs were introduced in numerous countries, including the United States, to improve folate nutritional status and have resulted in a major decrease in neural tube defect prevalence. The success story of folate represents the cooperation of embryologists, experimentalists, epidemiologists, public health scientists, and policymakers.
View details for DOI 10.1096/fj.10-165084
View details for Web of Science ID 000283861100004
View details for PubMedID 20631328
Spina bifida is a malformation of the neural tube and is the most common of neural tube defects (NTDs). The etiology of spina bifida is largely unknown, although it is thought to be multi-factorial, involving multiple interacting genes and environmental factors. Mutations in transcriptional co-activator genes-Cited2, p300, Cbp, Tfap2?, Carm1 and Cart1 result in NTDs in murine models, thus prompt us to investigate whether homologues of these genes are associated with NTDs in humans.Data and biological samples from 297 spina bifida cases and 300 controls were derived from a population-based case-control study conducted in California. 37 SNPs within CITED2, EP300, CREBBP, TFAP2A, CARM1 and ALX1 were genotyped using an ABI SNPlex assay. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for alleles, genotypes and haplotypes to evaluate the risk for spina bifida.Several SNPs showed increased or decreased risk, including CITED2 rs1131431 (OR = 5.32, 1.04~27.30), EP300 rs4820428 (OR = 1.30, 1.01~1.67), EP300 rs4820429 (OR = 0.50, 0.26~0.50, in whites, OR = 0.7, 0.49~0.99 in all subjects), EP300 rs17002284 (OR = 0.43, 0.22~0.84), TFAP2A rs3798691 (OR = 1.78, 1.13~2.87 in Hispanics), CREBBP rs129986 (OR = 0.27, 0.11~0.69), CARM1 rs17616105 (OR = 0.41, 0.22~0.72 in whites). In addition, one haplotype block in EP300 and one in TFAP2A appeared to be associated with increased risk.Modest associations were observed in CITED2, EP300, CREBBP, TFAP2A and CARM1 but not ALX1. However, these modest associations were not statistically significant after correction for multiple comparisons. Searching for potential functional variants and rare causal mutations is warranted in these genes.
View details for DOI 10.1186/1471-2350-11-141
View details for Web of Science ID 000283360200001
View details for PubMedID 20932315
Obesity is associated with increased risk of many adverse health conditions. During pregnancy, obesity presents particularly important challenges for both mother and baby. Over the last 20 years, studies have emerged indicating an association between prepregnancy weight and risks of birth defects. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms through which this association occurs. Understanding the underlying mechanisms may provide clues to public health strategies for the prevention of birth defects associated with maternal obesity. This article briefly reviews existing literature on the association between maternal obesity and birth defects, discusses potential underlying mechanisms, and suggests research needed to improve our understanding of this important association.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.20679
View details for Web of Science ID 000283638500006
View details for PubMedID 20973050
Environmental contaminants that disrupt endocrine function may contribute to hypospadias etiology.To compare levels of selected halogenated organic pollutants in women delivering infants with and without hypospadias.This study examined levels of nine polybrominated flame retardants (PBDEs), 30 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and nine persistent pesticides in mid-pregnancy serum samples from 20 women who delivered infants with hypospadias and 28 women who delivered unaffected infants, in California. Analytes were measured using isotope dilution high-resolution mass spectrometry. Values below individual limits of detection (LOD) for each analyte were imputed based on a truncated multivariate normal distribution. Levels of 17 analytes for which at least 50% of cases and controls had values above the LOD were compared using t-tests and by generating odds ratios from logistic regression analyses.Means were greater for cases than controls for 11 of the 17 reported analytes (4 of 5 PBDEs, 7 of 9 PCBs, and 0 of 3 other persistent pesticides), but none of the differences were statistically significant. Eleven of the 17 odds ratios exceeded one (the same analytes that had greater means), but none of the confidence intervals excluded one. After adjustment for sample processing time and foreign-born Hispanic race-ethnicity, only four of the odds ratios exceeded one.Levels of the PBDEs and PCBs were not statistically significantly different, but the sample size was small. The current study adds to a relatively limited knowledge base regarding the potential association of specific contaminants with hypospadias or other birth defects.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.04.055
View details for Web of Science ID 000280749500005
View details for PubMedID 20494400
Using an Affymetrix GeneChip(R) Human Mapping 100K Set to study a patient with a late-presenting, right-sided diaphragmatic hernia and microphthalmia, we found a maternally inherited deletion that was 2.7 Mb in size at chromosome 18q22.1. Mapping of this deletion using fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed three deleted genes-CDH19, DSEL, and TXNDC10, and one gene that contained the deletion breakpoint, CCDC102B. We selected DSEL for further study in 125 patients with diaphragmatic hernias, as it is involved in the synthesis of decorin, a protein that is required for normal collagen formation and that is upregulated during myogenesis. We found p.Met14Ile in an unrelated patient with a late-presenting, anterior diaphragmatic hernia. In the murine diaphragm, Dsel was only weakly expressed at the time of diaphragm closure and its expression in C2C12 myoblast cells did not change significantly during myoblast differentiation, thus reducing the likelihood that the gene is involved in myogenesis of the diaphragm. Although it is possible that the 18q22.1 deletion and haploinsufficiency for DSEL contributed to the diaphragmatic defect in the patient, a definite role for DSEL and decorin in the formation of the collagen-containing, central tendon of the diaphragm has not yet been established.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.33341
View details for Web of Science ID 000276754000017
View details for PubMedID 20358601
Fgfrl1 (also known as Fgfr5; OMIM 605830) homozygous null mice have thin, amuscular diaphragms and die at birth because of diaphragm hypoplasia. FGFRL1 is located at 4p16.3, and this chromosome region can be deleted in patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). We examined FGFRL1 as a candidate gene for the diaphragmatic defects associated with 4p16.3 deletions and re-sequenced this gene in 54 patients with CDH. We confirmed six known coding single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): c.209G > A (p.Pro20Pro), c.977G > A (p.Pro276Pro), c.1040T > C (p.Asp297Asp), c.1234C > A (p.Pro362Gln), c.1420G > T (p.Arg424Leu), and c.1540C > T (p.Pro464Leu), but we did not identify any gene mutations. We genotyped additional CDH patients for four of these six SNPs, including the three non-synonymous SNPs, to make a total of 200 chromosomes, and found that the allele frequency for the four SNPs, did not differ significantly between patients and normal controls (p > or = 0.05). We then used Affymetrix Genechip Mouse Gene 1.0 ST arrays and found eight genes with significantly reduced expression levels in the diaphragms of Fgfrl1 homozygous null mice when compared with wildtype mice-Tpm3, Fgfrl1 (p = 0.004), Myl2, Lrtm1, Myh4, Myl3, Myh7 and Hephl1. Lrtm1 is closely related to Slit3, a protein associated with herniation of the central tendon of the diaphragm in mice. The Slit proteins are known to regulate axon branching and cell migration, and inhibition of Slit3 reduces cell motility and decreases the expression of Rac and Cdc42, two genes that are essential for myoblast fusion. Further studies to determine if Lrtm1 has a similar function to Slit3 and if reduced Fgfrl1 expression can cause diaphragm hypoplasia through a mechanism involving decreased myoblast motility and/or myoblast fusion, seem indicated.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00439-009-0777-8
View details for Web of Science ID 000274456500006
View details for PubMedID 20024584
Few inquiries into periconceptional nutrition, other than folate, and risk of heart defects exist. We investigated the observed association between conotruncal heart defects and periconceptional vitamin use, as well as potential associations with other dietary nutrients.Data derived from a population-based, case-control study of fetuses and liveborn infants among California births between July 1999 and June 2004; 76% of eligible case mothers and 77% of eligible control mothers were interviewed. Cases included 140 with d-transposition of great arteries (dTGA), and 163 with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). Total number of controls was 698. Use of vitamins was elicited by questionnaire for the periconceptional period. Dietary nutrient intake was elicited by a well-known food frequency questionnaire.The odds ratio for dTGA associated with supplemental vitamin use was 1.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7-1.5) and for TOF was 0.9 (95% CI, 0.6-1.3). We observed increased risks associated with lower dietary intakes of linoleic acid, total carbohydrate, and fructose for dTGA, whereas decreased risks were observed for lower intakes of total protein and methionine for TOF. Lower dietary intake of several micronutrients-namely folate, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamins B(12), A, and E, even after simultaneous adjustment for other studied nutrients-was associated with increased risk of dTGA but not TOF. These associations were observed among women who did not use vitamin supplements periconceptionally. Analytic consideration of several potential confounders did not reveal alternative interpretations of the results.Evidence continues to accumulate to show that nutrients, particularly folate, influence risks of structural birth defects. Our results extend observations that other nutrients may also be important in heart development.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.20648
View details for Web of Science ID 000276125800002
View details for PubMedID 20063270
Spina bifida, a neural tube closure defect (NTD) involving the posterior portion of what will ultimately give rise to the spinal cord, is one of the most common and serious birth defects. The etiology of spina bifida is thought to be multi-factorial and involve multiple interacting genes and environmental factors. The causes of this congenital malformation remain largely unknown. However, several candidate genes for spina bifida have been identified in lower vertebrates, including the planar cell polarity (PCP) genes. We used data from a case-control study conducted in California to evaluate the association between variation within several key PCP genes and the risk of spina bifida. The PCP genes included in this study were the human homologs of the Xenopus genes Flamingo, Strabismus, Prickle, Dishevelled, and Scrib, two of the homologs of Xenopus Wnt genes, WNT5A and WNT11, and two of the homologs of Xenopus Frizzled, FZD3 and FZD6. None of the 172 SNPs that were evaluated were significantly associated with spina bifida in any racial/ethnic group after correction for multiple testing. However, several SNPs in the PRICKLE2 gene had unadjusted P-value <0.01. In conclusion, our results, though largely negative, suggest that the PRICKLE2 gene may potentially modify the risk of spina bifida and deserves further investigation.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.33230
View details for Web of Science ID 000274508300005
View details for PubMedID 20101694
Non-syndromic craniosynostosis is multifactorial, and fetal head constraint has been hypothesized as one factor thought to play a role. Data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), a large multi-site case-control study of birth defects, were used to evaluate associations between four selected factors related to fetal constraint and craniosynostosis: plurality (twins or higher), macrosomia (birth weight >4,000 g), post-term gestational age (> or =42 weeks), and nulliparity (no previous live births). Case infants (n = 675) had craniosynostosis documented either by radiographic evidence or by surgical intervention. Infants with a recognized or strongly suspected single-gene conditions or chromosomal abnormalities were excluded. Control infants (n = 5,958) had no major birth defects and were randomly selected from the same population as case infants. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios for the association between these four factors and craniosynostosis, while adjusting for several covariates. We found that plurality and nulliparity were associated with a twofold increased risk for metopic craniosynostosis, and macrosomia had almost twice the risk of developing coronal craniosynostosis. Contrary to our hypothesis, prematurity and low birth weight were also associated with craniosynostosis. In conclusion, these four constraint-related factors were not found to be associated with craniosynostosis when all suture types were combined, though some types of craniosynostosis were associated with individual constraint-related factors.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.33246
View details for Web of Science ID 000274508300019
View details for PubMedID 20101684
Clark (1996) proposed that abnormal blood flow is related to some congenital cardiovascular malformations (CCVMs), particularly CCVM with obstruction to blood flow. Our hypothesis is that CCVMs may relate to genes that affect blood coagulation or flow. We studied whether polymorphisms of such genes are related to CCVMs; previous association of these SNPs to conotruncal CCVMs is described.We assessed risk of pulmonary stenosis (PS, N = 120), atrial septal defect (ASD, N = 108), aortic stenosis (AS, N = 36), and coarctation of the aorta (CoAo, N = 64), associated with 33 candidate genes, selected for their relationship to blood flow affected by homocysteine metabolism, coagulation, cell-cell interaction, inflammation, or blood pressure regulation.Effects were specific to cardiac phenotype and race. CoAo was associated with MTHFR (-667) C>T (odds ratio [OR] for TT 3.5, 95% confidence limits [CI] 1.4-8.6). AS was associated with a polymorphism of SERPINE1, G5>G4, OR = 5.6 for the homozygote with 95% CI 1.4-22.9. Unique polymorphisms were associated with increased risk of ASD and PS: NPPA 664G>A with ASD (OR of 2.4, 95%CI 1.3-4.4) and NOS3 (-690) C>T with PS (OR 6.1; 95% CI 1.6-22.6 in the African American population only). For ASD, the NPPA (-664) G>A SNP there was increased risk from the variant genotype only in maternal smokers (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.0-7.2).Genes affecting vascular function and coagulation appear to be promising candidates for the etiology of cardiac malformations and warrant further study.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.20630
View details for Web of Science ID 000275389800005
View details for PubMedID 19764075
We sought to determine if there is a relationship between serum concentrations of cytokines and the development of preterm labor. A panel of 28 cytokines was measured using the multiplex assay in serum samples collected between 15 and 18 weeks' gestation from women who developed spontaneous preterm labor and delivered between 24 and 28 weeks' gestation (N = 25) and from women who delivered at term (>or=37 weeks; N = 25). Sixteen of the 28 cytokines measured were detected. Except for vascular endothelial growth factor, which showed a trend toward a significant increase in patients who developed preterm labor, there was no difference in cytokine levels between groups in preterm labor and in term labor. Serum cytokine changes in women who develop spontaneous preterm labor possibly occur in the period between 18 weeks' gestation and the onset of labor.
View details for DOI 10.1055/s-0029-1234037
View details for Web of Science ID 000273825200006
View details for PubMedID 19644787
Evidence exists for an association between use of vitamin supplements with folic acid in early pregnancy and reduced risk for offspring with cleft lip with/without cleft palate (CLP). A few observations have been made about nutrients related to one-carbon metabolism other than folate. Our prospective study attempted to extend information on nutrition and CLP by measuring nutrient analytes in mid-pregnancy sera. This study included data from a repository of women's mid-pregnancy serum specimens collected in California from 2003-04. Each woman's specimen was linked with delivery information to determine whether her fetus had CLP or another structural malformation, or was nonmalformed. We identified 89 CLP cases. We randomly selected 409 specimens as controls. Specimens were tested for homocysteine, methylmalonic acid, folate, vitamin B12, pyridoxal phosphate, pyridoxal, pyridoxic acid, riboflavin, choline, betaine, methionine, methionine sulfoxide, cysteine, cystathionine, arginine, and asymmetric and symmetric dimethylarginine. We observed three analytes with odds ratios unlikely to be explained by random variation, i.e., elevated CLP risks were observed for low levels and for high levels of pyridoxal phosphate (vitamin B6), higher levels of choline, and low levels of symmetric dimethylarginine. These data did not show meaningful differences between cases and controls for any other analytes.
View details for Web of Science ID 000271039100003
View details for PubMedID 19668105
To evaluate the representativeness of controls in an ongoing, population-based, case-control study of birth defects in 10 centers across the United States, researchers compared 1997-2003 birth certificate data linked to selected controls (n = 6,681) and control participants (n = 4,395) with those from their base populations (n = 2,468,697). Researchers analyzed differences in population characteristics (e.g., percentage of births at > or =2,500 g) for each group. Compared with their base populations, control participants did not differ in distributions of maternal or paternal age, previous livebirths, maternal smoking, or diabetes, but they did differ in other maternal (i.e., race/ethnicity, education, entry into prenatal care) and infant (i.e., birth weight, gestational age, and plurality) characteristics. Differences in distributions of maternal, but not infant, characteristics were associated with participation by selected controls. Absolute differences in infant characteristics for the base population versus control participants were < or =1.3 percentage points. Differences in infant characteristics were greater at centers that selected controls from hospitals compared with centers that selected controls from electronic birth certificates. These findings suggest that control participants in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study generally are representative of their base populations. Hospital-based control selection may slightly underascertain infants affected by certain adverse birth outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kwp226
View details for Web of Science ID 000270445300007
View details for PubMedID 19736223
To examine the association of multiple measures of socioeconomic status (SES) with risks of orofacial clefts and conotruncal heart defects.Data were from a recent population-based case-control study conducted in California that included 608 patients with orofacial clefts, 277 patients with conotruncal heart defects, and 617 nonmalformed controls.The odds ratio for the worst versus best score on a household-level SES index was strongest for cleft lip with or without palate, at 1.7 (95% confidence interval, 0.9-3.4); the odds ratios for this comparison were closer to 1 and less precise for the other defect groups. An index based on neighborhood-level SES was also not associated with increased risk of the studied defects.This detailed analysis of SES and selected birth defects did not suggest worse SES was associated with increased risk of the studied defects, with the possible exception of cleft lip with or without cleft palate.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.20614
View details for Web of Science ID 000271348700006
View details for PubMedID 19645048
Folic acid is known to reduce risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). Even so, NTDs continue to occur despite individual supplementation or population fortification with folic acid. We investigated other nutrients related to one-carbon metabolism that may affect NTD risk.This prospective study included data from more than 180,000 pregnant women in California from 2003 through 2005. Midpregnancy serum specimens were linked with delivery information regarding the presence of a NTD, another structural malformation, or no malformation in the fetus. We identified 80 NTD-affected pregnancies (cases) and we randomly selected 409 pregnancy controls. Serum specimens were tested for methylmalonic acid, homocysteine, cysteine, methionine, total choline, betaine, cystathionine, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and creatinine.We observed elevated NTD risks associated with lower levels of total choline, and reduced risks with higher levels of choline. Specifically, we observed an odds ratio of 2.4 (95% confidence interval = 1.3-4.7) associated with the lowest decile and an odds ratio of 0.14 (0.02-1.0) associated with the highest decile, both relative to the 25th-74th percentiles of the control distribution. These data did not show meaningful differences between cases and controls for any other analytes.This is the first study to investigate total choline in NTD-affected pregnancies. Our findings for choline, for which low levels were a risk factor and higher levels were a protective factor for NTDs, may offer a useful clue toward understanding the complex etiologies of NTDs in an era of folic acid fortification of the food supply.
View details for DOI 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181ac9fe7
View details for Web of Science ID 000269103500017
View details for PubMedID 19593156
Neonatal blood, obtained from a heel stick and stored dry on paper cards, has been the standard for birth defects screening for 50 years. Such dried blood samples are used, primarily, for analysis of small-molecule analytes. More recently, the DNA complement of such dried blood cards has been used for targeted genetic testing, such as for single nucleotide polymorphism in cystic fibrosis. Expansion of such testing to include polygenic traits, and perhaps whole genome scanning, has been discussed as a formal possibility. However, until now the amount of DNA that might be obtained from such dried blood cards has been limiting, due to inefficient DNA recovery technology.A new technology is employed for efficient DNA release from a standard neonatal blood card. Using standard Guthrie cards, stored an average of ten years post-collection, about 1/40th of the air-dried neonatal blood specimen (two 3 mm punches) was processed to obtain DNA that was sufficient in mass and quality for direct use in microarray-based whole genome scanning. Using that same DNA release technology, it is also shown that approximately 1/250th of the original purified DNA (about 1 ng) could be subjected to whole genome amplification, thus yielding an additional microgram of amplified DNA product. That amplified DNA product was then used in microarray analysis and yielded statistical concordance of 99% or greater to the primary, unamplified DNA sample.Together, these data suggest that DNA obtained from less than 10% of a standard neonatal blood specimen, stored dry for several years on a Guthrie card, can support a program of genome-wide neonatal genetic testing.
View details for DOI 10.1186/1471-2156-10-38
View details for Web of Science ID 000269503400001
View details for PubMedID 19624846
Folic acid taken in early pregnancy reduces risks for delivering offspring with several congenital anomalies. The mechanism by which folic acid reduces risk is unknown. Investigations into genetic variation that influences transport and metabolism of folate will help fill this data gap. We focused on 118 SNPs involved in folate transport and metabolism.Using data from a California population-based registry, we investigated whether risks of spina bifida or conotruncal heart defects were influenced by 118 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the complex folate pathway. This case-control study included 259 infants with spina bifida and a random sample of 359 nonmalformed control infants born during 1983-86 or 1994-95. It also included 214 infants with conotruncal heart defects born during 1983-86. Infant genotyping was performed blinded to case or control status using a designed SNPlex assay. We examined single SNP effects for each of the 118 SNPs, as well as haplotypes, for each of the two outcomes.Few odds ratios (ORs) revealed sizable departures from 1.0. With respect to spina bifida, we observed ORs with 95% confidence intervals that did not include 1.0 for the following SNPs (heterozygous or homozygous) relative to the reference genotype: BHMT (rs3733890) OR = 1.8 (1.1-3.1), CBS (rs2851391) OR = 2.0 (1.2-3.1); CBS (rs234713) OR = 2.9 (1.3-6.7); MTHFD1 (rs2236224) OR = 1.7 (1.1-2.7); MTHFD1 (hcv11462908) OR = 0.2 (0-0.9); MTHFD2 (rs702465) OR = 0.6 (0.4-0.9); MTHFD2 (rs7571842) OR = 0.6 (0.4-0.9); MTHFR (rs1801133) OR = 2.0 (1.2-3.1); MTRR (rs162036) OR = 3.0 (1.5-5.9); MTRR (rs10380) OR = 3.4 (1.6-7.1); MTRR (rs1801394) OR = 0.7 (0.5-0.9); MTRR (rs9332) OR = 2.7 (1.3-5.3); TYMS (rs2847149) OR = 2.2 (1.4-3.5); TYMS (rs1001761) OR = 2.4 (1.5-3.8); and TYMS (rs502396) OR = 2.1 (1.3-3.3). However, multiple SNPs observed for a given gene showed evidence of linkage disequilibrium indicating that the observed SNPs were not individually contributing to risk. We did not observe any ORs with confidence intervals that did not include 1.0 for any of the studied SNPs with conotruncal heart defects. Haplotype reconstruction showed statistical evidence of nonrandom associations with TYMS, MTHFR, BHMT and MTR for spina bifida.Our observations do not implicate a particular folate transport or metabolism gene to be strongly associated with risks for spina bifida or conotruncal defects.
View details for DOI 10.1186/1471-2350-10-49
View details for Web of Science ID 000267862600001
View details for PubMedID 19493349
Rates of neural tube defects have decreased since folic acid fortification of the food supply in the United States. The authors' objective was to evaluate the associations between neural tube defects and maternal folic acid intake among pregnancies conceived after fortification. This is a multicenter, case-control study that uses data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1998-2003. Logistic regression was used to compute crude and adjusted odds ratios between cases and controls assessing maternal periconceptional use of folic acid and intake of dietary folic acid. Among 180 anencephalic cases, 385 spina bifida cases, and 3, 963 controls, 21.1%, 25.2%, and 26.1%, respectively, reported periconceptional use of folic acid supplements. Periconceptional supplement use did not reduce the risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect. Maternal intake of dietary folate was not significantly associated with neural tube defects. In this study conducted among pregnancies conceived after mandatory folic acid fortification, the authors found little evidence of an association between neural tube defects and maternal folic acid intake. A possible explanation is that folic acid fortification reduced the occurrence of folic acid-sensitive neural tube defects. Further investigation is warranted to possibly identify women who remain at increased risk of preventable neural tube defects.
View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kwn331
View details for Web of Science ID 000262152200002
View details for PubMedID 18953063
Cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) and cleft palate only (CPO) are common congenital malformations. Numerous epidemiologic studies have shown an increased risk for orofacial clefts among children whose mothers smoked during early pregnancy; however, there is concern that the results of these studies may have been biased because of exposure misclassification. The purpose of this study is to use previous research on the reliability of self-reported cigarette smoking to produce corrected point estimates (and associated credible intervals) of the effect of maternal smoking on children's risk of clefts.We accounted for misclassification using 4 Bayesian models that made different assumptions about the sensitivity and specificity of self-reported maternal smoking data. We used results from previous studies to specify the prior distributions for sensitivity and specificity of reporting and used Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms to calculate the posterior distribution of the effect of maternal smoking on children's risk for CL/P and CPO.After correcting for potential sources of misclassification in data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, we found an increased risk of CL/P among children born to mothers who smoked during early pregnancy (posterior odds ratio [OR] = 1.6, 95% credible interval = 1.1-2.2). The posterior effect of smoking on CPO provided less evidence of effect (posterior OR = 1.1, 95% credible interval = 0.7-1.7).Our results lend some credibility to the hypothesis that periconceptional maternal smoking increases the risk of a child being born with CL/P. The results concerning CPO provide no overall evidence of effect, although the estimates were relatively imprecise. We suggest that future research should emphasize validity studies, especially those of differential reporting, rather than replicating existing analyses of the relationship between maternal smoking and clefts. We discuss how our approach is also applicable to evaluating misclassification in a wide range of exposure-outcome scenarios.
View details for DOI 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31818ab3b0
View details for Web of Science ID 000261930800007
View details for PubMedID 19234399
The occurrence of preterm delivery has been increasing in the U.S. Previous studies have identified risk factors for preterm delivery that may have genetic influences. We conducted a case-control study comparing the frequencies of 49 genetic polymorphisms among 62 preterm infants and 553 term infants. The polymorphisms that we examined were involved in xenobiotic-metabolism, blood pressure, coagulation, the inflammatory response, cell-cell interaction, or folate-homocysteine metabolism. Univariate analyses on the individual polymorphisms revealed a statistically significant effect for the variant genotypes compared to the wildtype genotypes in SERPINE1 11053G > T (OR = 0.4, 95% CI = 0.2-0.8). This finding suggests the coagulation/thrombophilic pathway may influence the development of preterm delivery.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a31868
View details for Web of Science ID 000249173900007
View details for PubMedID 17676631
To examine the interactions between four fetal xenobiotic metabolizing gene polymorphisms, maternal cigarette smoking, and risk for oral cleft defects.California population-based case-control study of 431 infants born with isolated orofacial clefts and 299 nonmalformed controls.Infants were genotyped for functional polymorphisms of the detoxification enzymes microsomal epoxide hydrolase-1 (EPHX1 T-->C [Tyr113His], and A-->G [His139Arg]), and glutathione-S transferase Pi-1 (GSTP1 A-->G [Ile105Val] and C-->T [Ala114Val]), and risks for cleft outcomes were measured for gene only and gene-maternal smoking effects.Although smoking was associated with an increased risk for isolated cleft lip+/-palate, we found no independent associations of genotypes of EPHX1-codon 113 or GSTP1-codon 105 polymorphisms for either isolated cleft lip+/-palate or isolated cleft palate. The heterozygote genotype for the EPHX1-codon 139 polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of isolated cleft palate (odds ratio=1.6 [95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 2.6]). Infant EPHX1 and GTSP1 polymorphic variants did not appreciably alter the risks for clefts associated with maternal smoking, nor were any EPHX1 combined genotype-specific risks found. Infant genotypes of the GSTP1-codon 105 polymorphism, combined with glutathione-S-transferase-mu-1 null genotypes, did not appreciably alter the risk of orofacial clefts.Our results suggest that genetic variation of the detoxification enzymes EPHX1 and GSTP1 did not increase the risks of orofacial clefting, nor do they influence the risks associated with maternal smoking.
View details for DOI 10.1597/06-011.1
View details for Web of Science ID 000248295300003
View details for PubMedID 17608547
Increasing epidemiologic evidence suggests that genetic susceptibilities contribute to birth defects risks, especially in combination with other environmental exposures. This analysis examines the association of risk of limb deficiency defects with infant genotypes for N-acetyltranferases (NAT1, NAT2), glutathione-S-tranferases (GSTT1, GSTM1), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS3). The combined effects of infant genotype with maternal smoking and supplement intake were also examined. The authors genotyped 92 cases and 201 non-malformed controls from a California population-based case-control study (1987-1988 birth cohort). Several of the infant genotypes were associated with an at least 1.5-fold increased risk for limb deficiency defects: homozygosity for the NAT1 1088 and 1095 polymorphisms, heterozygosity and homozygosity for the NOS3 A(-922)G polymorphism, and heterozygosity (but not homozygosity) for the NOS3 G894T polymorphism. The authors hypothesized that the effects of selected variant genotypes in the presence of maternal smoking, or in the absence of supplement intake, may exceed effects of any of these factors alone. A few observations suggested that risks were greatest among infants with variant genotypes, whose mothers also smoked or did not take supplements, but most did not, and risk estimates were imprecise. Further studies exploring genetic susceptibility and combined gene-environment effects with respect to limb development will be important to continued improvement of our understanding of the etiology of limb anomalies.
View details for PubMedID 16906563
Orofacial clefts have been associated with maternal cigarette smoking and lack of folic acid supplementation (which results in higher plasma homocysteine concentrations). Because endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS3) activity influences homocysteine concentration and because smoking compromises NOS3 activity, genetic variation in NOS3 might interact with smoking and folic acid use in clefting risk. The authors genotyped 244 infants with isolated cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P), 99 with isolated cleft palate, and 588 controls from a California population-based case-control study (1987-1989 birth cohort) for two NOS3 polymorphisms: A(-922)G and G894T. Analyses of gene-only effects for each polymorphism revealed a 60% increased risk of CL/P among NOS3 A(-922)G homozygotes (odds ratio (OR) = 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 2.6). There was some evidence for higher risk of CL/P with maternal periconceptional smoking in infants with an NOS3 -922G allele (for homozygotes, OR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.2, 5.6) but not in those with an 894T allele. For CL/P risk, odds ratios were over 4 among mothers who smoked, who did not use vitamins, and whose infants had at least one variant allele for each NOS3 polymorphism (for A(-922)G, OR = 4.6, 95% CI: 2.1, 10.2; for 894T, OR = 4.4, 95% CI: 1.8, 10.7). No similar patterns were observed for risk of cleft palate.
View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kwi336
View details for Web of Science ID 000233850400009
View details for PubMedID 16269583
Maternal smoking is a known risk factor for orofacial clefts. We investigated whether risk is greater among offspring who lack the genetic capacity to produce glutathione S-transferase enzymes relevant to detoxification of chemicals in cigarette smoke.Using a population-based case-control design, we genotyped 423 California infants with an isolated cleft and 294 nonmalformed controls for null variants of the glutathione S-transferases GSTT1 and GSTM1.If a mother smoked during pregnancy and her fetus was homozygous null for GSTT1, the risk of isolated cleft lip with or without cleft palate was tripled (odds ratio = 2.9; 95% confidence interval = 1.2-7.2). For fetuses who were homozygous null for GSTM1 and whose mothers smoked >/=20 cigarettes per day, we found nearly a 7-fold increased risk (6.8; 0.82-57). Combined absence of GSTM1 and GSTT1 enzymes among the offspring of smoking mothers was associated with a nearly 6-fold increased risk for cleft lip (6.3; 1.3-42). A similar increased risk for cleft palate was associated with absence of GSTM1, but not for absence of GSTT1.Maternal smoking during pregnancy increases risks for clefts among fetuses lacking enzymes involved in the detoxification of tobacco-derived chemicals.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.ede.0000172136.26733.4b
View details for Web of Science ID 000231783200017
View details for PubMedID 16135950
Periconceptional supplementation of multivitamins that include folic acid have been shown to prevent several birth defects, including neural tube defects and orofacial clefts. We investigated whether polymorphic variants of fetal acetyl-N-transferase 1 (NAT1), an enzyme involved in the catabolism of folates, differentially interacted with maternal multivitamin use during early pregnancy to alter the risk of delivering an infant with an orofacial cleft malformation.Using a large population-based case-control study, we genotyped 421 California infants born with an isolated cleft and 299 controls for two NAT1 polymorphisms.Compared to the homozygous wild-type genotypes, odds ratios for isolated cleft lip with/without cleft palate were slightly increased among infants who were homozygous for the variant alleles of NAT1 1088 and 1095. For isolated cleft palate, no similar associations with these two NAT1 variants were observed. For NAT1 1088 genotypes, we did not observe any differential risks for clefts related to maternal multivitamin intake. For NAT1 1095 genotypes, however, we found a two-fold higher risk for isolated cleft lip with/without cleft palate among infants who were homozygous for the variant allele and whose mothers did not take multivitamins during early pregnancy.We found evidence suggestive of an interaction between the NAT1 1095 polymorphism and lack of maternal multivitamin use that increased risks of isolated cleft lip with/without cleft palate.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.20081
View details for Web of Science ID 000225522500005
View details for PubMedID 15523664
Orofacial clefts are etiologically heterogeneous malformations. One probable cause is maternal smoking during pregnancy. The effect of maternal smoking may be modified by genes involved in biotransformation of toxic compounds derived from tobacco. We investigated whether polymorphic variants of fetal acetyl-N-transferases 1 (NAT1) and 2 (NAT2) interact with maternal cigarette smoking during early pregnancy to increase the risk of delivering an infant with an orofacial cleft.In a California population-based case-control study, we genotyped 421 infants born with an isolated cleft and 299 nonmal-formed controls for 2 NAT1 and 3 NAT2 single nucleotide polymorphismsAlthough smoking was independently associated with increased risks for both isolated cleft lip +/- cleft palate and isolated cleft palate, no independent associations were found for NAT1 1088 or 1095 genotypes or for NAT2 acetylator status. However, the infant NAT1 1088 and 1095 polymorphisms were strongly associated with the risk of clefts among smoking mothers; infants with NAT1 1088 genotype AA versus TT (odds ratio [OR] = 3.9; 95% confidence interval = 1.1-17.2) and with NAT1 1095 genotype AA versus CC (OR = 4.2; 1.2-18.0). Infant NAT2 acetylator status did not appreciably affect susceptibility of the fetus to the teratogenic effects of maternal smoking.Our results suggest that maternal smoking during pregnancy may increase risk for orofacial clefts particularly among smokers whose fetuses have polymorphic variants of NAT1, an enzyme involved in phase II detoxification of tobacco smoke constituents.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.ede.0000112214.33432.cc
View details for Web of Science ID 000189286900006
View details for PubMedID 15127906
Craniosynostosis, a malformation caused by premature closure of 1 or more cranial sutures, is a rare birth defect usually of unknown cause; however, it is often associated with advanced maternal age. Because fertility treatments are also associated with increased maternal age, this study investigated the possible association between fertility treatments and craniosynostosis.Data from the Birth Defect Risk Factor Surveillance study were used, which included infants who were delivered from 1993 through 1997 in California, Georgia, and Iowa. Cases were defined as infants who had nonfamilial, nonsyndromic craniosynostosis and were ascertained through existing birth defect surveillance systems. Controls, infants without birth defects, were selected from the same regions and time period.Mothers of 99 case infants and 777 control infants from the 3 study locations participated in this study by completing a telephone interview. Unadjusted analyses showed associations with craniosynostosis for mothers who had used clomiphene citrate (odds ratio[OR]: 3.8; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-12.3), artificial insemination (OR: 4.2; 95% CI: 0.8-9.4), or assisted reproductive techniques (OR: 4.2; 95% CI: 0.5-27.3).This is the first study that has found associations between fertility treatments and craniosynostosis. However, the numbers are small; therefore, the results should be viewed with caution.
View details for Web of Science ID 000182579700008
View details for PubMedID 12728131
In a case-control study using an assessment of occupational tasks by an industrial hygienist, the authors investigated whether women's occupational exposures increased risks of delivering infants with cleft palate (CP), cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CLP), conotruncal defects, or limb deficiencies. For CP and CLP, exposures were further considered in the presence/absence of infant genetic variants for glutathione-S-transferase M1, glutathione-S-transferase T1, and N-acetyltransferases 1 and 2. The study included 1987-1989 California stillbirths and livebirths. Telephone interviews were conducted with mothers of 662 CLP and CP cases, 207 conotruncal defect cases, 165 limb deficiency cases, and 734 nonmalformed controls. Occupational tasks were assigned to a priori-defined exposure categories: 74 chemical groups and nine "end-use" chemical groups. Odds ratios of 1.5 or greater were observed for a small number of exposure-defect comparisons. Risks associated with end-use groups revealed odds ratios of 1.5 or greater for exposures to dyes and pigments (conotruncal and CP), propellants (CP), and insecticides (conotruncal and CP). Numerous odds ratios of 2.5 or greater were observed for combined effects of exposures and homozygous mutant genotypes, particularly for CP. Although potential associations were observed, most results suggested that maternal occupational chemical exposures did not contribute substantially to the occurrence of these anomalies in this California population.
View details for Web of Science ID 000181611600001
View details for PubMedID 12631536
The goal was to estimate the number of children and adolescents, 0 to 19 years of age, living with spina bifida (SB) in the United States.A retrospective study was conducted by using population-based, birth defect surveillance data from 10 US regions, with vital status ascertainment. Birth defect surveillance data were obtained from Arkansas, Georgia (5 central counties of metropolitan Atlanta), California (11 counties), Colorado, Iowa, New York (New York City excluded), North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. We estimated the numbers of children 0 to 19 years of age who were living with SB in the 10 US regions in 2002, according to age group, race/ethnicity, and gender, and examined a long-term trend in the prevalence of SB among children 0 to 11 years of age in 1991-2002.The overall prevalence of SB among children and adolescents 0 to 19 years of age in the study regions was 3.1 cases per 10,000 in 2002. The prevalence of SB among children was lower among male and non-Hispanic black children.The prevalence estimates of SB among children and adolescents varied according to region, race/ethnicity, and gender, which suggests possible variations in prevalence at birth and/or inequities in survival rates. Additional studies are warranted to elucidate the reasons for these variations and to derive prevalence estimates of SB among adults.
View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2009-2084
View details for Web of Science ID 000280565700013
View details for PubMedID 20624803
This study investigated the association of neural tube defects (NTDs) with maternal periconceptional intake of folic acid-containing supplements and dietary nutrients, including folate, among deliveries that occurred after folic acid fortification in selected California counties.The population-based case-control study included fetuses and live born infants with spina bifida (189) or anencephaly (141) and 625 nonmalformed, live born controls delivered from 1999 to 2003. Mothers reported supplement use during telephone interviews, which included a 107-item food frequency questionnaire. For dietary nutrients, intakes <25th, 25th to <75th (reference), and > or =75th percentile were compared, based on control distributions.After adjustment for potential confounders, any versus no supplement intake resulted in ORs of 0.8 (95% CI, 0.5-1.3) for anencephaly and 0.8 (95% CI, 0.6-1.2) for spina bifida. After stratification by maternal intake of vitamin supplements, most factors in the glycemic pathway were not associated with either NTD, with the exception of low levels of fructose and glucose that were significantly associated with anencephaly. Some nutrients that contribute to one-carbon metabolism showed lowered risks (folate, riboflavin, vitamins B(6) and B(12)); others did not (choline, methionine, zinc). Antioxidant nutrients tended to be associated with lowered risks (vitamins C, E, A, beta-carotene, lutein).Mothers' intake of vitamin supplements was modestly if at all associated with a lowered risk of NTDs. Dietary intake of several nutrients contributing to one-carbon metabolism and oxidative stress were associated with reduced NTD risk.
View details for DOI 10.1002/bdra.20675
View details for Web of Science ID 000281529700009
View details for PubMedID 20740594