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Study on maternal smoking during pregnancy and childhood metabolic outcomes

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Investigator(s): Di He,
Award Cycle: 2019 (Cycle 29) Grant #: T29DT0485 Award: $89,996
Subject Area: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease
Award Type: Dissertation Awards
Abstracts

Initial Award Abstract
Nationwide in 2012, the prevalence of cigarette smoking was 15% and 18% among women aged 18-24 and 25-44, respectively. Tobacco smoke contains multiple toxic compounds and maternal smoking during pregnancy causes increased risks of acute and chronic health effects in mothers and in offspring. Using a metabolomics approach, Ms He’s dissertation project will examine the health effects of smoking on newborns and the utility of biomarker measures of smoking. Participants in this project were selected from California children born 1983 – 2011. The study uses dried blood spots, which are a few drops of blood collected from the baby’s heel shortly after birth, which were provided by the California Genetic Disease Screening Program (GDSP). Three studies will be conducted. The first study will be a validation study which will examine how well cotinine, nicotine, and other tobacco metabolites are identified by metabolomics across many years of blood spot storage. This will shed light on the reliability of using dried blood spots in doing metabolomics research. In addition, we will compare self-reported smoking, as recorded on the California birth certificate, to the smoking rate ascertained from the metabolomics results, to determine the accuracy of smoking on birth records. The second study will be broad, untargeted analysis of metabolomics outcomes comparing offspring of smoking mothers and non-smoking mothers. This will be done in 900 cancer-free controls in our cohort of California children, and will identify altered metabolic pathways in newborns related to maternal smoking. Retinoblastoma is the most common childhood eye cancer, and parental smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke have been found to be positively associated with an increased risk of RB, based on studies examining parents’ self-reported smoking. The third study will examine the interaction between smoking and other risk factors for retinoblastoma, such as exposure to dietary factors and pollution. Due to the unreliability of maternal self-reported smoking in research studies, it is important to accurately account for how smoking may impact the health effects of other exposures. This project will help to shed light on the early life impacts of tobacco smoke exposure and how it may interact with other environmental factors.