Environmental health perspectives 2017 09 20125(9) 097018 doi 10.1289/EHP1330
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may affect body mass index (BMI) and other components of cardiometabolic (CM) risk during childhood, but evidence is scarce and inconsistent.
We estimated associations between prenatal PFAS exposures and outcomes relevant to cardiometabolic risk, including a composite CM-risk score.
We measured perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) in maternal plasma (first trimester). We assessed weight gain from birth until 6 mo. At 4 and 7 y, we calculated the age- and sex-specific z-scores for BMI, waist circumference (WC), and blood pressure (BP) (n≈1,000). At age 4, we calculated the age-, sex-, and region-specific z-scores for cholesterol, triglycerides (TGs), high-density (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (n=627). At age 4, we calculated a CM-risk score (n=386) as the sum of the individual age-, sex-, and region-specific z-scores for WC, BP, HDL-C, and TGs. We used the average between the negative of HDL-C z-score and TGs z-score to give similar weight to lipids and the other components in the score. A higher score indicates a higher cardiometabolic risk at age 4.
PFOS and PFOA were the most abundant PFAS (geometric mean: 5.80 and 2.32 ng/mL, respectively). In general, prenatal PFAS concentrations were not associated with individual outcomes or the combined CM-risk score. Exceptions were positive associations between prenatal PFHxS and TGs z-score [for a doubling of exposure, β=0.11; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.01, 0.21], and between PFNA and the CM-risk score (β=0.60; 95% CI: 0.04, 1.16). There was not clear or consistent evidence of modification by sex.
We observed little or no evidence of associations between low prenatal PFAS exposures and outcomes related to cardiometabolic risk in a cohort of Spanish children followed from birth until 7 y. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1330.