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OD Research - Reproductive Epidemiology

Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study

The Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study is designed to examine the relation between ubiquitous environmental chemicals, lifestyle, and human fecundity and fertility. The primary exposures of interest include persistent chemicals (e.g., PCBs, PBDEs and PFOS) and lifestyle factors (e.g., stress, cigarette smoking, caffeine, and alcohol usage). The LIFE Study comprised 501 couples recruited prior to conception who were followed daily while attempting to become pregnant for up to 12 months of trying. Pregnant women were followed monthly until delivery. The primary study outcomes include couple fecundability as measured by time-to-pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and infertility. Pregnancy outcomes include length of gestation, birth size and the secondary sex ratio. Data analysis is currently underway. Several cases of environmental chemicals have been associated with fecundity impairments, such as longer time required to become pregnant and poor semen quality.

Principal Investigator

Germaine Louis, Ph.D., M.S.

DIPHR Collaborators

Selected Publications

  • Buck Louis GM, Schisterman EF, Sweeney AM, Wilcosky TC, Goce-Langton R, Lynch CD, Barr DD, Schrader SM, Kim S, Chen Z, Sundaram R. Designing prospective cohort studies for assessing reproductive  and developmental toxicity during sensitive windows of human reproduction  and development: The LIFE Study. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 2011; 25:413-424.
  • Buck Louis GM, Sundaram R, Schisterman EF, Sweeney AM, Lynch CD, Gore-Langton RE, Chen Z, Kim S, Caldwell K, Boyd Barr D. Heavy metals and couple fecundity, the LIFE Study. Chemosphere 2012; 87:1201-1207.
  • Buck Louis GM, Sundaram R, Schisterman EF, Sweeney AM, Lynch CD, Gore-Langton RE, Maisog J, Kim S, Chen Z, Barr DB. Persistent environmental pollutants and couple fecundity, The LIFE Study. Environmental  Health Perspectives  2013; 121(2):231-236.
  • Buck Louis GM, Sundaram R, Schisterman EF, Sweeney A, Lynch CD, Kim S, Maisog JM, Gore-Langton R, Chen Z. Semen quality and time-to-pregnancy, the LIFE Study. Fertility and Sterility 2014; 101(2):453-62.
  • Eisenberg ML, Kim S, Sundaram R, Schisterman EF, Buck Louis GM. The relationship between male body mass index, adiposity, and activity level on semen quality, LIFE Study. Human Reproduction 2014; 29(2):193-200.
  • Buck Louis GM. Persistent environmental pollutants and couple fecundity: An overview. Reproduction 2014;147(4):R97-R104.
  • Buck Louis GM, Sundaram R, Sweeney AM, Schisterman  EF, Maisog J, Kannan K. Urinary bisphenol A, phthalates and couple fecundity, The LIFE Study. Fertility and Sterility 2014;101(5):1359-1366.
  • Schisterman EF, Mumford SL, Chen Z, Browne RW, Barr DB, Sundaram R, Kim S, Buck Louis GM. Lipid concentrations and semen quality: The LIFE Study. Andrology 2014;2(3):408-415.
  • Lynch CD, Sundaram R, Maisog J, Sweeney AM, Buck Louis GM. Preconception  stress increases the risk of infertility: Results from a couple-based  prospective  cohort study, The LIFE Study. Human Reproduction 2014; 29(5):1067-1075.
  • Schisterman EF, Mumford SL, Browne RW, Boyd Barr D, Chen Z, Buck Louis GM. Serum lipid levels and couple fecundity: The LIFE Study. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (In Press).
  • Mumford SL, Sundaram R, Schisterman EF, Sweeney AM, Barr DB, Rybak ME, Maisog JM, Parker DL, Pfeiffer CM, Buck Louis GM. Female, not male, urinary lignan concentrations associated with shorter time to pregnancy. Journal of Nutrition (In Press).
  • Sapra KJ, McLain AC, Maisog JM, Sundaram R, Buck Louis GM. Successive time-to-pregnancy among women experiencing hCG pregnancy loss. Human Reproduction (In Press).
  • Robledo CA, Yeung E, Mendola P, Sundaram R, Maisog J, Sweeney A, Barr D, Buck Louis GM. Preconception  maternal and paternal exposure to persistent organic pollutants and birth size. Environmental  Health Perspectives  (In Press).
  • Buck Louis GM, Chen Z, Schisterman EF, Kim S, Sweeney AM, Sundaram R, Lynch CD, Gore-Langton RE, Barr DB. Perflurochemicals and Human Semen Quality, the LIFE Study. Environmental  Health Perspectives (In Press).
Last Updated Date: 10/10/2004
Last Reviewed Date: 09/09/2014

Contact Information

Name: Dr Germaine M Louis
Director and Senior Investigator
Phone: 301-496-6155
Fax: 301-402-2084
E-mail: louisg@mail.nih.gov

Staff Directory
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