Research

Current Projects Past Projects Collaborators Findings Publications Information for Researchers

Past Projects

Prenatal Organochlorine Metabolites, Thyroid Function and Development

PI:
Pam Factor-Litvak, Columbia University
Description:
Study to assess whether exposure to metabolites of endocrine disrupting compounds during pregnancy is associated with a) adverse development in the offspring at birth, childhood, and adolescence, b) mild deficiencies in the maternal thyroid function, and c) whether adverse developmental findings, if any are attributed in part to deficiencies in exposure to maternal thyroid hormone in utero. This project is a collaboration between CHDS investigators and Columbia University.
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In Utero Organochlorine Exposure and Breast Density

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
Tests the hypothesis that in-utero exposure to organochlorine compounds alters breast density in women measured at 40-44 years of age. High breast density is associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
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Early Determinants of Adult Health

PI:
Ezra Susser, Columbia University
Description:
The Early Determinants of Adult Health Study (EDAH) is a collaborative project between CHDS investigators and Columbia University, Harvard University, University of California, Davis, and Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. The study is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. The study examines how birth weight and other prenatal and childhood factors influence the risk for diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and brain function in adulthood. This project launched a new era of research at the CHDS focused on adult health of CHDS "children," who were in their 30s and 40s when the study began.
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Prenatal Factors and Risk of Bipolar Disorder

PI:
Alan Brown, Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene
Description:
Examines the relationship between early developmental insults and risk of adult bipolar affective disorder. Investigators aim to better understand early developmental risk factors for bipolar disorder, and assess whether these factors are specific to schizophrenia. This project is a collaboration with the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene.
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Prenatal Organochlorine Exposure and Male Reproduction (Study of the Environment and Reproduction)

PI:
Pam Factor-Litvak, Columbia University
Description:
The Study of the Environment and Reproduction (SER) is a joint project between the Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS), Kaiser Permanente, and Columbia University. This study examines the effects of prenatal exposure to pesticides and men's fertility. Prenatal exposure to pesticides could occur if a man's mother was exposed to pesticides before or during her pregnancy. Some pesticides are stored for long periods in the tissues of the body and might affect the developing reproductive system of a fetus during pregnancy.

The recruitment and interview of participants has been completed and the study is now in the analysis phase. The study will measure levels of pesticides in the stored blood samples of women who joined the Child Health and Development Studies about 50 years ago. In addition, men who participated in the CHDS as children and now in this study as adults completed an interview and gave blood and semen samples.

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Prenatal Determinants of Schizophrenia, II

PI:
Catherine Schaefer, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
Description:
This study investigates the role of prenatal determinants of schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD).The study builds upon and extends two prior investigations: the original Child Health and Development Study and the Prenatal Determinants of Schizophrenia (PDS) Study, This project is a collaboration with Kaiser Foundation Research Institute.
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Early Determinants of Mammographic Density

PI:
Mary Beth Terry, Columbia University
Description:
The Early Determinants of Mammographic Density Study (EDOMD) is a project by the Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS), Kaiser Permanente, and Columbia University. The purpose of the study is to learn more about the effects of the prenatal period and early childhood on women's adult health, particularly the health of their breasts. In addition to adult experiences such as pregnancy, prenatal and early childhood experiences may affect breast tissue during its development. The density of a woman's breasts on a mammogram may be linked to later risk of breast cancer. This study is particularly interested in the question of whether mammographic density (the amount of the breast that appears dense on a mammogram) is related to prenatal or early childhood factors, including birth weight, and rate of childhood growth, as well as other factors that occurred during the prenatal period. The study builds upon the resources of three birth cohorts: two New England sites of the National Collaborative Perinatal Project (NCPP) and CHDS.
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Estriol, Blood Flow and Breast Cancer Risk

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
This study proposed that estriol released from the placenta directly into the uterine vasculature likely explains the fifteen to twenty fold increase in uterine blood flow that occurs during human pregnancy. Lifelong residual vascular effects that enhance clearance of genotoxic and other noxious substances from the breasts may explain the protective effect of pregnancy against breast cancer.
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Exposure to DDT, DDE and PCBs Before Birth and Human Testicular Cancer: A Prospective Study Based on Archived Pregnancy Samples

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
Testicular cancer incidence arose dramatically worldwide among men born after 1945. The widespread introduction of DDT may have contributed to this increase. This study investigates whether in utero exposure to DDT, DDE, or congener-specific PCBs increase the risk of testicular cancer.
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New Bone-Age Assessment Technique for Cancer Epidemiology

PI:
Jeffrey Duryea, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Description:
This project developed computer-assisted bone age scoring of wrist radiographs in collaboration with Harvard Medical School to facilitate studies of the relation of early life factors to cancer.
Funding Source:

Prenatal Organochlorines, Thyroid, and Development

PI:
Pam Factor-Litvak, Columbia University
Description:
Assesses whether exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds during pregnancy is associated with a) adverse development (cognitive function, height, weight, weight for height, and for females, age at menarche) in the offspring at birth, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence, b) mild deficiencies in maternal thyroid function, and c) whether adverse developmental findings, if any, are attributed in part to deficiencies in exposure to maternal thyroid hormone in utero.
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Can Placenta Factors Explain Race Patterns of Breast Cancer?

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
Higher birth weights have been reported to increase breast cancer risk, and birth weights of mothers and daughters are highly correlated. However, race/ethnicity patterns for birth weight (lowest for African Americans and Asians, higher for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites) do not match patterns of breast cancer in California (lowest in Asians and Hispanics). A key to progress in breast cancer prevention will lie in reconciling critical paradoxes like this one. This grant examines whether race differences in placental characteristics shed light on this paradox.
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Pregnancy Hormones, Environment, Genes and Offspring Health

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
This planning grant tests the feasibility of creating a genetic library for the CHDS that can be used to understand how genes interact with environment to influence health of parents and offspring. It includes intensive examination of the ethics of genetic studies in long-term studies
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Prostate Cancer: Prospective Serum Markers in Blacks and Whites

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
Examines the possible relationship of genetics and serum levels of androgens and growth factors to the risk of prostate cancer in African-American and Caucasian men
Funding Source:
California Cancer Research Program
Findings:

The Epidemiology of Growth Factors and Immune Function in Pregnancy: Relation to Maternal Breast Cancer

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
Investigates the relation between prospectively obtained measures of serum markers of placental function in pregnancy and breast cancer
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Prenatal Exposure to Organochlorines and Fecundability

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
A prospective study to investigate the relation between prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals and fecundability (time to pregnancy) in adult CHDS daughters
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Breast Cancer and Organochlorines

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
Considers timing of exposure in a prospective epidemiological study of the relationship between DDT exposure and breast cancer.
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Prenatal Organochlorine Exposure and Human Reproduction

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
Pilot study to collect semen samples from CHDS sons as preparation for a proposal to fund an examination of the relationship between prenatal exposure to organochlorines and semen quality.
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Immune Markers in Pregnancy and Breast Cancer

PI:
Barbara Cohn, CHDS
Description:
Examines clinically observed indicators of placental function as prospective predictors of maternal breast cancer
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