142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Protecting pregnancy, protecting future generations

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Karin Russ, MS, RN , Family/Community Health, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Rockville, MD
Exposure to toxic substances in food, water, air, soil and consumer products is pervasive in modern life. Evidence of negative health effects from environmental exposures continues to build. For example, babies exposed to toxic chemicals in the womb can experience altered neurodevelopment, exhibited later as autism, ADHD and learning disabilities. Prenatal exposures predispose an individual to adult diseases such as cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and diabetes. New research is illuminating the role of epigenetics in programming fetal development, making an individual more susceptible to acute and chronic disease.  Most intriguing, epidemiological studies and research in animal models are demonstrating transgenerational effects in the second and third generations after an exposure to a toxic agent.

Recognizing early life as the most sensitive period of development for toxic exposures, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) issued a statement in 2012 entitled Toxic Environmental Agents (http://www.acog.org/ToxicChemicals). The committee opinion states:

"The scientific evidence over the last 15 years shows that exposure to toxic environmental agents before conception and during pregnancy can have significant and long-lasting effects on reproductive health..." and "Reducing exposure to toxic environmental agents is a critical area of intervention for … health care professionals."

This session will review the literature on transgenerational effects of environmental exposures and fetal programming in utero.  An interactive period will evaluate the components of the ACOG/ASRM statement, and discuss interventions in the prenatal period that may reduce risk to current and future generations.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the implications of transgenerational effects of environmental exposures on off-spring. Identify possible mechanisms of fetal programming in utero that predispose an individual for disease later in life. Discuss interventions in the prenatal period that may reduce risk to current and future generations.

Keyword(s): Prenatal Care, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Karin Russ is Director of the Community/Public Health course for the University of Maryland School of Nursing at Shady Grove. Ms. Russ is also National Coordinator of the Fertility and Reproductive Health Working Group for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment and chairs the Environmental Health Committee of the Maryland Nursesí Association. Ms. Russ holds a Masters degree in Nursing Management, and specialty certificates in Teaching in Nursing and Environmental Health Nursing.
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.