In the Rhea study we seek to determine the factors that pregnant women and their children have been exposed to during gestation, infancy or childhood.
We have extensive, multimodal and repeated assessments of environmental exposures in both mothers and children from parental questionnaires and biological samples.
We designed our biospecimen collection to identify unique windows of vulnerability to environmental chemicals during gestation or childhood. To date, we have measured > 100 different chemicals in our participants’ biospecimens. These include heavy metals, tobacco smoke metabolites, PCBs, dioxins, organochlorine pesticide, phthalate metabolites, environmental phenols, perfluoroalkyl substances and organophosphate pesticide metabolites. For many chemicals, we have multiple measures during pregnancy and childhood.
We measured serum thyroid hormone concentrations during pregnancy and 4 years of age. Finally, we extracted DNA from maternal and child samples.
We also administered standardized questionnaires about pregnant women or children’s exposure to environmental chemicals.
Diet has been a key exposure for many Rhea study analyses. We have assessed maternal diet during pregnancy and early childhood diet with full-length food frequency questionnaires (FFQs). We have also assed infant feeding practices with questionnaires about breastfeeding.