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Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Oct 6;49(19):11849-58. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02489. Epub 2015 Sep 11.

Sociodemographic and Perinatal Predictors of Early Pregnancy Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance (PFAS) Concentrations.

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Division of Epidemiology, University of California , Berkeley, California 94720-739, United States.
Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health , Boston, Massachusetts 02118, United States.
Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute , Boston, Massachusetts 02215, United States.
Central American Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances, Universidad Nacional , Heredia, Costa Rica.
Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Atlanta, Georgia 30329, United States.
Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health , Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States.


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), used in food packaging and stain-resistant coatings, are suspected developmental toxicants that are ubiquitous and persistent in the environment. We measured plasma PFAS concentrations during early pregnancy (median = 9.7 weeks gestation) among 1645 women in the Boston-area Project Viva cohort, recruited during 1999-2002. We used multivariable linear regression to estimate associations of sociodemographic and perinatal predictors, including measures of pregnancy physiology (albumin, glomerular filtration rate (GFR)), with log-transformed plasma PFAS concentrations. Geometric mean concentrations for the four main PFASs, perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) and perfluorononanoate (PFNA) were 25.4, 5.7, 2.5, and 0.6 ng/mL, respectively, comparable with general U.S. population concentrations during those years. Higher early pregnancy PFAS concentrations were associated with younger age (except PFNA), less educational attainment, nulliparity, no history of breastfeeding and higher prepregnancy body mass index in adjusted models. In addition, lower GFR was associated with 3-4% higher PFAS concentrations and higher albumin was associated with 4-6% higher PFAS concentrations. Our results show associations consistent (parity and breastfeeding) and less consistent (age and education) with previous studies. We also report associations with GFR and albumin, which were strongly related to PFAS concentrations and thus could confound estimates of PFAS-outcome associations in epidemiologic studies.

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