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Jefferson City, MO, United States

Almberg K.S.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Turyk M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Jones R.M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Anderson R.,University of Illinois at Chicago | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2014

Background: Missouri is an agriculturally intensive state, primarily growing corn and soybeans with additional rice and cotton farming in some southeastern counties. Communities located in close proximity to pesticide-treated fields are known to have increased exposure to pesticides and may be at increased risk of adverse birth outcomes. The study aims were to assess the relationship between county-level measures of crop-specific agricultural production and adverse birth outcomes in Missouri and to evaluate the most appropriate statistical methodologies for doing so. Methods: Potential associations between county level data on the densities of particular crops and low birth weight and preterm births were examined in Missouri between 2004-2006. Covariates considered as potential confounders and effect modifiers included gender, maternal race/ethnicity, maternal age at delivery, maternal smoking, access to prenatal care, quarter of birth, county median household income, and population density. These data were analyzed using both standard Poisson regression models as well as models allowing for temporal and spatial correlation of the data. Results: There was no evidence of an association between corn, soybean, or wheat densities with low birth weight or preterm births. Significant positive associations between both rice and cotton density were observed with both low birth weight and preterm births. Model results were consistent using Poisson and alternative models accounting for spatial and temporal variability. Conclusions: The associations of rice and cotton with low birth weight and preterm births warrant further investigation. Study limitations include the ecological study design and limited available covariate information. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Key Jr. M.M.,Dickinson College | Schumacher G.A.,307 South Old State Road | Babcock L.E.,Ohio State University | Frey R.C.,Bureau of Environmental Health | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Paleontology | Year: 2010

Commensal epizoozoans and episkeletozoans are rarely preserved attached to the external exoskeleton of the Late Ordovician trilobite Flexicalymene. Of nearly 15,000 Flexicalymene specimens examined, 0.1 show epizoozoans or episkeletozoans. Factors limiting Flexicalymene fouling include a shallow burrowing life style, frequent molting of the host, larval preference for other substrates, observational bias caused by overlooking small fouling organisms, and the loss of the non-calcified, outermost cuticle prior to fossilization or as the trilobite weathers from the encasing sediment. Trepostome bryozoans, articulate and inarticulate brachiopods, cornulitids, and a tube-dwelling/boring nonbiomineralized organism represent the preserved members of the Late Ordovician marine hard substrate community fouling Flexicalymene. This assemblage of organisms is less diverse than the hard substrate community fouling Late Ordovician sessile epibenthic organisms. Fouling is not restricted to only large Flexicalymene specimens as observed in previous studies but occurs in medium to large individuals interpreted as early to late holaspid specimens. Epizoozoans fouling the carcasses or molt ensembles of 16 Flexicalymene specimens provide insight into the life habits of the host and these fouling organisms. Trepostome bryozoans, articulate and inarticulate brachiopods, and cornulitids preferentially attached to elevated portions of the dorsal exoskeleton, and preferentially aligned in either the direct line or lee side of currents generated by Flexicalymene walking on the sea floor or swimming through the water column. © 2010 The Paleontological Society. Source

Block J.P.,Harvard University | Condon S.K.,Bureau of Environmental Health | Kleinman K.,Harvard University | Mullen J.,10 Capitol Avenue | And 3 more authors.
BMJ (Online) | Year: 2013

Objective To investigate estimation of calorie (energy) content of meals from fast food restaurants in adults, adolescents, and school age children. Design Cross sectional study of repeated visits to fast food restaurant chains. Setting 89 fast food restaurants in four cities in New England, United States: McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Wendy's, KFC, Dunkin' Donuts. Participants 1877 adults and 330 school age children visiting restaurants at dinnertime (evening meal) in 2010 and 2011; 1178 adolescents visiting restaurants after school or at lunchtime in 2010 and 2011. Main outcome measure Estimated calorie content of purchased meals. Results Among adults, adolescents, and school age children, the mean actual calorie content of meals was 836 calories (SD 465), 756 calories (SD 455), and 733 calories (SD 359), respectively. A calorie is equivalent to 4.18 kJ. Compared with the actual figures, participants underestimated calorie content by means of 175 calories (95% confidence interval 145 to 205), 259 calories (227 to 291), and 175 calories (108 to 242), respectively. In multivariable linear regression models, underestimation of calorie content increased substantially as the actual meal calorie content increased. Adults and adolescents eating at Subway estimated 20% and 25% lower calorie content than McDonald's diners (relative change 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.66 to 0.96; 0.75, 0.57 to 0.99). Conclusions People eating at fast food restaurants underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large meals. Education of consumers through calorie menu labeling and other outreach efforts might reduce the large degree of underestimation. Source

Lambertino A.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Turyk M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Anderson H.,Bureau of Environmental Health | Freels S.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Persky V.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Environmental Research | Year: 2011

Diet and endocrine disrupting persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been associated with gynecologic conditions including uterine leiomyomata (UL), endometriosis, and ovarian cysts. Great Lakes sport fish consumption is a source of exposure to POPs such as p,p'-diphenyldichloroethene (DDE) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This study was designed to examine retrospectively the effects Great Lakes sport fish consumption on the incidence of UL and to examine the effects of DDE and PCB serum levels on prevalent UL in women participating in the Great Lakes Fish Consumption Study. We hypothesized that associations of exposures with UL would be modified by breastfeeding status. Years of sport fish consumption, demographic, health, and reproductive data were assessed by survey. In a subgroup, serum was collected and tested for DDE and PCB levels. Effects of years of Great Lakes sport fish and sport fish consumption were modeled using time-dependent Cox proportional hazards regression and effects of POP exposures on UL were modeled using multiple logistic regression. Years of sport fish consumption were associated with UL, with an incidence rate ratio of 1.2 (95% CI 1.0-1.3) for each 10-year increment of fish consumption. Summary measures of POP exposures in the overall group were not associated with UL. In the subgroup of women who never breastfed and in whom PCB measurements were available, however, UL was significantly associated with PCBs and groupings of estrogenic, antiestrogenic, and dioxin-like PCBs. These findings support the possibility that PCB exposures from fish consumption may increase the risk of UL and highlight the importance of additional studies exploring biologic pathways by which they could be acting. © 2011. Source

Taylor K.W.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Novak R.F.,Shriners Hospitals for Children International | Anderson H.A.,Bureau of Environmental Health | Birnbaum L.S.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 12 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2013

Background: Diabetes is a major threat to public health in the United States and worldwide. Understanding the role of environmental chemicals in the development or progression of diabetes is an emerging issue in environmental health. Objective: We assessed the epidemiologic literature for evidence of associations between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and type 2 diabetes. Methods: Using a PubMed search and reference lists from relevant studies or review articles, we identified 72 epidemiological studies that investigated associations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) with diabetes. We evaluated these studies for consistency, strengths and weaknesses of study design (including power and statistical methods), clinical diagnosis, exposure assessment, study population characteristics, and identification of data gaps and areas for future research. Conclusions: Heterogeneity of the studies precluded conducting a meta-analysis, but the overall evidence is sufficient for a positive association of some organochlorine POPs with type 2 diabetes. Collectively, these data are not sufficient to establish causality. Initial data mining revealed that the strongest positive correlation of diabetes with POPs occurred with organochlorine compounds, such as trans-nonachlor, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxins and dioxin-like chemicals. There is less indication of an association between other nonorganochlorine POPs, such as perfluoroalkyl acids and brominated compounds, and type 2 diabetes. Experimental data are needed to confirm the causality of these POPs, which will shed new light on the pathogenesis of diabetes. This new information should be considered by governmental bodies involved in the regulation of environmental contaminants. Source

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