Arin Balalian (AUA MPH 2011) is the Lead Author of an Article in Environmental Research Journal

Arin Balalian (American University of Armenia, Master of Public Health 2011), with colleagues from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (CUMSPH), published an article titled “Prenatal and childhood exposure to phthalates and motor skills at age 11 years.” The article is published in the Environmental Research journal– an international peer-reviewed journal that aims to assess the impact of environmental factors on human health.

The article investigates the effect of phthalates – chemicals that are widely used in personal care products like moisturizers and lipstick, as well as plastic containers and children’s toys – on the motor development of children measured at age 11. The prenatal and postnatal concentrations of phthalates were measured among women during late pregnancy and their children at ages 3, 5, and 7 years. The motor development of children at age 11 was measured using Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency short form (BOT-2). The findings suggest that prenatal exposure to phthalates in late pregnancy were associated with decreased motor function in girls in later childhood. Exposure to phthalates during early childhood was associated with decreased motor function among boys.

Dr. Arin A. Balalian MD, MPH has been awarded Luys scholarship from 2016-2018 to pursue his doctoral studies at the Department of Epidemiology at CUMSPH. Dr. Balalian is currently working with senior faculty at CUMSPH on New York City Health Department’s Longitudinal Study of Early Development (LSED) as graduate research assistant. Dr. Balalian’s research interests include life course and chronic diseases epidemiology, particularly the effect of prenatal and childhood adversities and interventions on subsequent development and growth outcomes. Dr. Balalian received his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from American University of  Armenia Turpanjian School of Public Health in 2011. After graduation Dr. Balalian has worked in multiple capacities in Armenia including Ministry of Health, and International Non-governmental organizations as Fund for Armenian Relief and Mission East Armenia from 2011-2015.

The AUA Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.