272088 Earliest environment: Disease prevention begins in the womb

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Karin Russ, MS, RN , Feritility & Reproductive Health Working Group, Collaborative on Health and Environment, Freeland, WA
The womb is the earliest environment that plays a role in our health throughout life, and thus provides an early opportunity to promote health across the lifespan. Factors that affect maternal health may also influence the health of the fetus. The fetus is vulnerable to environmental exposures during critical and sensitive periods because these are times of extensive developmental changes, such as cellular proliferation and rapidly changing and/or undeveloped metabolic and hormonal capabilities, immune system, and blood-brain barrier. Environmental exposures during preconception and prenatal windows of vulnerability can lead to adverse health effects that are apparent at birth, and/or to later-in-life deficits in function, as well as increased risks of disease and disability across the entire span of human life. This presentation will describe the relationship between preconception and prenatal environmental influences and health, and report on efforts to translate known and emerging science into practical prevention strategies from the individual to the policy level.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Name 4 substances that have been associated with infertility in animal and epidemiological studies. 2. Identify 6 sources of environmental toxicants to which pregnant women may be exposed. 3. Utilize environmental health screening tools during medical history collection, to assess for potential exposures. 4. List 3 resources for patient education on ways to reduce environmental risks.

Keywords: Environmental Health, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the National Coordinator for the Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group of the non-profit organization Collaborative on Health and the Environment. I am also a faculty member in the Community & Public Health department at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and serve as co-chair of the Maryland Nurses Associationís Environmental Health Committee. I also serve on the Environmental Section of the American Public Health Association.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.