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Clinical Trials: Neonatal (Newborn)
IRB No. 17-180H-6.2 (Dr. Susan Tannenbaum, PI): Electronic Cigarette Use During Pregnancy HHC-2017-0208
An observational, longitudinal, prospective cohort study of 375 women (125 women who smoke conventional cigarettes exclusively during pregnancy, 125 who use e-cigs and 125 dual users). Background: Maternal smoking is one of the most important modifiable causes of poor pregnancy outcomes in the United States causing 16% low birth weight babies, 6% of premature deliveries, and 6% of preterm related deaths. Quitting smoking is the best option to improve maternal and child health, and smoking reduction is also beneficial. However, an increasing number of pregnant smokers may be using electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) as a substitute for or in conjunction with cigarette smoking. Rationale for this study: E-cigs are an emerging public health issue. They may have a net benefit or risk. A need exists to evaluate the impact of e-cigs in vulnerable populations such as pregnant women. The information about the potential risks and benefits is needed to adequately inform pregnant women and health care providers who counsel their patients. Study Design: This is an observational, longitudinal, prospective cohort study. Study Population and Sample Size: Pregnant smokers who exclusively smoke conventional cigarettes, or who use e-cigs. A total of 375 subjects (125 who smoke conventional cigarettes and 125 who use e-cigs, and 125 dual users) will be enrolled across six sites (UCHC, HH, Baystate Medical Center, University of Colorado, Denver Health, and University of East Tennessee). Major Study Interventions: Not a treatment study. Observational only. Providing written smoking cessation education materials and referral to state Quitline if needed. Main Outcome Measures/Analyses: To determine if e-cigarettes use leads to lower exposure to toxicants in pregnant women relative to those pregnant smokers who smoke conventional cigarettes. Hypotheses, aims and objectives: Hypothesis 1: We hypothesize that women who smoke conventional cigarettes will have higher urine NNAL and serum cotinine & benzene levels compared to users of e-cigs (dual users or exclusive users). Aims / objectives 1: To compare the overall toxicant exposure in pregnant women who use e-cigs to women who smoke conventional cigarettes Hypothesis 2: We hypothesize that infants born to women who smoke conventional cigarettes will have higher levels of NNAL, benzene/SPMA and cotinine compared to infants born to users of e-cigs (dual or exclusive users). Aim/Objective 2: To compare toxicant exposure and birth outcomes among infants born to pregnant women who use e-cigs compared to women who smoke conventional cigarettes Hypothesis 3: We hypothesize that maternal urine for NNAL will be predictive of birth weight, and that this effect will be mediated by inflammatory processes, measured using markers of inflammation [high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs CRP) and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1)]. Any additional effect of benzene/SPMA will be explored. Aim/Objective 3: To explore potential mechanisms by which toxicants could influence birth weight.
IRB No. 21-143OSC-1 (Dr. Richard Fortinsky, PI): Impact of Perinatal Pandemic-Related Stress on the Early Caregiving Environment, Infant Functioning, DNA Methylation, and Telomere Length
The current study seeks to recruit a diverse cohort of women and their partners who were in the final two trimesters of pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Phase 1 of the study will involve a large-scale survey (N=2,000) of these individuals to assess perinatal stress exposure occurring in the context of the pandemic. Phase 2 will involve selecting individuals from the Phase 1 survey to establish two subgroups with high (n=200) and low (n=200) perinatal pandemic-related stress exposure to participate in a comprehensive and longitudinal assessment protocol, including interviews, parent-child interactions, an infant stress paradigm, and biological sample collection. Aims are to: (1) use person-centered latent class analysis of perinatal pandemic-related experiences to identify unique profiles that vary on the types and quantity of stress exposure and differentially associate with race/ethnicity, caregiver-reported perceived stress, emotion dysregulation, PTSD, parenting, and infant dysregulation (stress-reactivity and emotional/behavioral problems) in the large Phase 1 survey cohort (N=2,000); (2) Compare infants with high and low perinatal pandemic-related stress and examine caregiver emotion dysregulation, PTSD, and responsive parenting as potential mediators of this relationship in the longitudinal Phase 2 cohort (N=400); and (3) identify differentially methylated regions of DNA and differences in telomere length and changes over time in infants in high v. low perinatal stress groups. Assessment procedures will integrate the experiences and functioning of both the mother and partner when considering implications for offspring. This work will yield mechanistic insight on how pandemic-related stress, caregiver emotion dysregulation, and PTSD influence multiple aspects of the caregiving environment and infant outcomes and is expected to directly inform perinatal public health interventions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and its sequelae unfold.