Application of growth modeling to assess the impact of hospital-based phthalate exposure on preterm infant growth parameters during the neonatal intensive care unit hospitalization

Stefanie A. Busgang, Emily A. Spear, Syam S. Andra, Srinivasan Narasimhan, Jennifer B. Bragg, Stefano Renzetti, Paul Curtin, Mia Bates, Manish Arora, Chris Gennings, Annemarie Stroustrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, we use advanced growth modeling techniques and the rich biospecimen and data repositories of the NICU Hospital Exposures and Long-Term Health (NICU-HEALTH) study to assess the impact of NICU-based phthalate exposure on extrauterine growth trajectories between birth and NICU discharge. Repeated holdout weighed quantile sum (WQS) regression was used to assess the effect of phthalate mixtures on the latency to first growth spurt and on the rate of first growth spurt. Further, we assessed sex as an effect modifier of the relationship between a phthalate mixture and both outcomes. Nine phthalate metabolites, mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP), mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP), mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP), mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP), mono-(3-carboxypropyl) phthalate (MCPP), mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (MEHHP), mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP), mono-(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (MECPP) were measured in weekly urine specimens from 101 NICU-HEALTH participants between birth and the first growth spurt. Phthalate levels varied by species but not by infant sex, and decreased over the course of the NICU hospitalization as presented in detail in Stroustrup et al., 2018. There was evidence of nonlinearity when assessing the effect of phthalates on latency to first growth spurt. Above a threshold level, a higher phthalate mixture with dominant contributors MCPP, MBzP, and MEP predicted a shorter latency to the first inflection point, or an earlier growth spurt. A higher phthalate mixture with dominant contributors MECPP, MEHHP, and MEOHP was associated with an increased rate of growth. Results of both models were clearly different for boys and girls, consistent with other studies showing the sexually dimorphic impact of early life phthalate exposure. These results suggest that growth curve modeling facilitates evaluation of discrete periods of rapid growth during the NICU hospitalization and exposure to specific phthalates during the NICU hospitalization may both alter the timing of the first growth spurt and result in more rapid growth in a sexually dimorphic manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number157830
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume850
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Children's environmental health
  • Neonatology
  • Phthalate metabolites
  • Prematurity

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