Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons--Aromatic DNA Adducts in Cord Blood and Behavior Scores in New York City Children.

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    • Abstract:
      BACKGROUND: Airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are widespread urban pollutants that can bind to DNA to form PAH-DNA adducts. Prenatal PAH exposure measured by personal monitoring has been linked to cognitive deficits in childhood in a prospective study conducted by the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. OBJECTIVES: We measured PAH-DNA and other bulky aromatic adducts in umbilical cord white blood cells using the 32P-postlabeling assay to determine the association between this molecular dosimeter and behavioral/attention problems in childhood. METHODS: Children born to nonsmoking African-American and Dominican women residing in New York City (NYC) were followed from in utero to 7-8 years of age. At two time points before 8 years of age (mean ages, 4.8 years and 7 years), child behavior was assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). To estimate and test the association between adducts and behavioral outcomes, both CBCL continuous raw scores and dichotomized T-scores were analyzed. RESULTS: Higher cord adducts were associated with higher symptom scores of Anxious/Depressed at 4.8 years and Attention Problems at 4.8 and 7 years, and with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition-oriented Anxiety Problems at 4.8 years. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that PAH exposure, measured by DNA adducts, may adversely affect child behavior, potentially affecting school performance. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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