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Environ Health Perspect. 2015 Aug;123(8):841-6. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1408881. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Anthropometry in 5- to 9-Year-Old Greenlandic and Ukrainian Children in Relation to Prenatal Exposure to Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances.

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Danish Ramazzini Centre, Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.



In some animal studies, perfluorinated alkyl substances are suggested to induce weight gain. Human epidemiological studies investigating these associations are sparse.


We examined pregnancy serum concentrations of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and the prevalence of offspring overweight (> 1 SD) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) > 0.5 at 5-9 years of age.


Sera from 1,022 pregnant women enrolled in the INUENDO cohort (2002-2004) from Greenland and Kharkiv (Ukraine) were analyzed for PFOA and PFOS using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Relative risks (RR) of being overweight and having WHtR > 0.5 in relation to continuous and categorized (tertiles) PFOA and PFOS were calculated at follow-up (2010-2012) using generalized linear models.


Pooled PFOA median (range) was 1.3 (0.2-5.1) and PFOS median (range) was 10.8 (0.8-73.0) ng/mL. For each natural logarithm-unit (ln-unit) increase of pregnancy PFOA, the adjusted RR of offspring overweight was 1.11 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.82, 1.53] in Greenlandic children. In Ukrainian children, the adjusted RR of offspring overweight was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.72, 1.44) for each ln-unit increase of pregnancy PFOA. Prenatal exposure to PFOS was not associated with overweight in country-specific or pooled analysis. The adjusted RR of having WHtR > 0.5 for each ln-unit increase of prenatal exposure to PFOA was 1.30 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.74) in the pooled analysis. For 1-ln-unit increase of prenatal exposure to PFOS, the adjusted RR of having a WHtR > 0.5 was 1.38 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.82) in the pooled analysis.


The results indicate that prenatal PFOA and PFOS exposures may be associated with child waist-to-height ratio > 0.5. Prenatal PFOA and PFOS exposures were not associated with overweight.

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