December Highlight: PROTECT publishes new findings on Environmental Phthalate Exposure and Preterm Birth

This week PROTECT Project 1 leader, John D. Meeker, ScD, and trainee Kelly Ferguson, MPH, published an article in JAMA Pediatrics on the relationship between preterm birth and chemical phthalate exposure during pregnancy. The JAMA article highlights the prevalence of preterm birth as a leading cause of neonatal mortality, and the increased odds faced by women exposed to phthalates during pregnancy of delivering preterm.  The work was based on an existing cohort out of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, led by Tom McElrath, MD, PhD, a co-author of the article and a member of the PROTECT Scientific Advisory Committee.

To view the paper, visit the JAMA Pediatrics website.

The JAMA Pediatrics publication emphasizes the urgency of the PROTECT cohort.  To date, PROTECT has recruited nearly 700 women in Puerto Rico and the Center is now analyzing complete data for over 300 women. The information PROTECT gathering will build upon the Brigham cohort by:

  • addressing predictors of preterm birth
  • studying a potentially highly exposed and susceptible population
  • determining sources of exposure
  • identifying potential strategies to reduce exposure or remediate

Video of Tom McElrath discussing the findings on Boston’s Fox News affiliate:

Selected Other Coverage:

CBS News:


NBC News: