Prenatal Environmental Exposure and Child Liver Injury
Child liver injury and fatty liver disease are an important emerging public health problem. Previous research suggests that not only lifestyle factors and genetics, but also environmental exposure may contribute to the development of child liver injury. The goal of this project is to evaluate the impacts of a broad suite of prenatal environmental exposures on child liver injury.
This project uses a novel analytical approach for investigating effects of in utero environmental exposures on child liver injury, leveraging the extraordinary existing resources of the “Human Early Life Exposome (HELIX)” project, which provides completely harmonized biomonitoring data on environmental exposures, geospatial data and omics biomarkers in 1200 pregnant mothers and their children followed longitudinally up to the age of 6-10 years in 6 European countries. We hypothesize that higher ambient air pollution and targeted EDC exposures during pregnancy are associated with subsequent child liver injury and associated dysregulation of metabolic and inflammatory pathways.
Quantifying the potential contribution of environmental pollutants to child liver disease is of critical importance since many such exposures are modifiable, and early intervention has the potential for significant public health benefit.
This project is supported by NIEHS R21 ES0293281.