Sharon K. Sagiv, Sally W. Thurston, David C. Bellinger, Larisa M. Altshul, Susan A. Korrick
Background: We previously reported associations between organochlorines and ADHD-related behaviors among boys and girls using a teacher’s rating scale in the New Bedford cohort at 8 years.
Objectives: To corroborate these findings using neuropsychological measures of inattentive and impulsive behaviors.
Methods: We investigated the association between cord serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and p,p’-dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethylene (p,p’-DDE) and attention and impulse control using a Continuous Performance Test (CPT) and components of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III). Participants came from a prospective cohort of children born 1993-1998 to mothers residing near a PCB-contaminated harbor in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Median (range) cord serum levels for the sum of 4 prevalent PCBs (Œ£PCB4) (congeners 118,138,153,180) and p,p’-DDE were 0.19 (0.01-2.59) and 0.31 (0-14.93) ng/g serum, respectively.
Results: We detected associations between PCBs and neuropsychological deficits for 578 and 584 children with CPT and WISC-III measures, respectively, but only among boys. For example, boys with higher exposure to Œ£PCB4 had a higher rate of CPT errors of omission (Rate Ratio for the exposure interquartile range (IQR) = 1.12; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.98, 1.27), and slower WISC-III processing speed (change in score for the IQR= -1.9; 95% CI: -3.5, -0.4). Weaker associations were found for p,p’-DDE. For girls, associations were in the opposite direction for the CPT and null for the WISC-III.
Conclusions: These results support an association between organochlorines (mainly PCBs) and neuropsychological measures of attention among boys only. Sex-specific effects should be considered in studies of organochlorines and neurodevelopment.
Citation: Sagiv SK, Thurston SW, Bellinger DC, Altshul LM, Korrick SA 2012. Neuropsychological Measures of Attention and Impulse Control among 8-Year-Old Children Exposed Prenatally to Organochlorines. Environ Health Perspect :-. http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104372
Received: 19 August 2011; Accepted: 22 February 2012; Online: 22 February 2012