Environmental Exposures and Child Health Outcomes 2 (EECHO2)

A 2019-2020 Seed Grant Award
Principal Investigator: Brooks B. Gump
Co-Investigator: Kevin Heffernan
Co-Investigator: Bryce Hruska

With Travis Hobart (SUNY Upstate) co-I, Kestutis Bendinskas (SUNY Oswego) co-I, and Patrick Parsons (SUNY Albany) co-I.
CUSE Grant – Innovative & Interdisciplinary Research, $29,990.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States and disables 10 million Americans each year, and literature demonstrates an association between metals (e.g., lead) and CVD risk. Supported by our most recent R01, we finished recruitment of 297 children in a study being named the “Environmental Exposures and Child Health Outcomes” (EECHO) study. EECHO considered the cross-sectional association between Pb exposure and cardiovascular outcomes in 9-11-year-old children; the new project will employ a retrospective longitudinal design and consider whether chronic or early Pb exposure is uniquely associated with adverse outcomes. In addition to measuring potential confounds (e.g., socioeconomic status), we will consider numerous important subclinical indicators of CVD risk, including left ventricular “thickness” as well as vascular stiffness and structure. Our recruitment strategy will result in 3 groups of 9-14-year-old children – those with low levels in early and middle childhood (“low-low”), high levels in early and middle childhood (“high-high”), and high levels in early childhood but low levels in middle childhood (“high-low”). The idea is that if end-organ changes are specifically in the high-high group, this would indicate a risk associated with chronic Pb exposure; however, if changes are found in both the high-high and high-low groups, then risk specifically from early Pb exposure is indicated. Based on our prior findings in EECHO, the role of race in moderating this association will also be considered.