Maternal Exposures Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Jamaica

MacKinsey Anne Christian, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with poorly understood etiology. Many genetic and environmental factors are suspected to be involved in the manifestation of ASD, and most cases are thought to result from gene-environment interactions. Many maternal exposures, including maternal health problems, medications, and xenobiotic exposures, that occur from three months prior to conception until the end of breast feeding have potential to interfere with neurodevelopment. Furthermore, maternal xenobiotic exposures, including pesticides, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls, may interact with maternal genotypes of Glutathione S-Transferase Pi 1 ( GSTP1), Glutathione S-Transferase Theta 1 (GSTT1), and Glutathione S-Transferase Mu 1 (GSTM1) genes in relation to ASD in the offspring. Using data from the “Epidemiological Research on Autism in Jamaica (ERAJ)” study, which enrolled 150 age and sex-matched case-control pairs, conditional logistic regression analyses were performed to assess possible associations between maternal environmental and genetic exposures and ASD in Jamaican children. Additionally, interactions between multiple maternal environmental exposures as well as interactions between maternal xenobiotic exposures and maternal GSTP1, GSTT1, and GSTM1 genotypes were assessed in relation to ASD in Jamaican children. Matched Odds Ratios (MORs) and 95% Confidence Intervals were reported. Despite the limited proportions of those exposed, maternal exposure to fever over 101oF or infection requiring antibiotics (MOR = 2.83), physical trauma such as a car accident or fall (MOR = 2.08), and degreasers (MOR = 2.74) were positively associated with ASD in Jamaican children. Additionally, maternal exposure to pesticides or herbicides may be an effect modifier for the individual associations between maternal exposures to oil-based paints and paint solvents and ASD in children. Specifically, among those whose mothers were exposed to pesticides or herbicides, the associations between maternal exposure to oil-based paints and ASD in children (MOR = 2.91) and maternal exposure to paint solvents and ASD in children (MOR = 2.55) were stronger compared to those whose mothers were not exposed to pesticides or herbicides (MOR = 1.64 and MOR = 1.55 for oil-based paints and paint solvents, respectively). No interactions between maternal xenobiotic exposures and maternal GSTP1, GSTT1, and GSTM1 genotypes relative to ASD in children were detected. Findings from this study require replication in additional populations.^

Subject Area

Caribbean studies|Individual & family studies|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Christian, MacKinsey Anne, "Maternal Exposures Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Jamaica" (2017). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10276128.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI10276128

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