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Environ Res. 2016 Aug;149:239-246. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.04.034. Epub 2016 May 11.

Maternal serum perfluoroalkyl substances during pregnancy and duration of breastfeeding.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA. Electronic address: megan_romano@brown.edu.
2
Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
3
Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
4
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
5
Child and Family Research Institute, BC Children's and Women's Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
6
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
7
Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may affect breast development and decrease duration of breastfeeding, thus interfering with the health benefits of breastfeeding. We investigated the association between maternal PFAS exposure and breastfeeding duration.

METHODS:

We measured PFAS concentrations in maternal serum collected during pregnancy in 2003-2006. After delivery, women (n=336) completed standardized breastfeeding surveys every 3 months until ending breastfeeding or 36 months postpartum. We estimated relative risks (RRs) for ending any breastfeeding within 3-6 months postpartum by Poisson regression, adjusted for relevant confounding factors.

RESULTS:

Women in the 4th quartile of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) serum concentration had 1.77 times the risk of ending any breastfeeding by 3 months (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.23, 2.54; p-trend=0.003) and 1.41 times the risk of ending any breastfeeding by 6 months (95%CI: 1.06, 1.87; p-trend=0.038), compared with women in the first quartile. Women in the 4th quartile of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid serum concentration had a marginally increased risk of discontinuing any breastfeeding by 3 months (RR=1.32; 95%CI: 0.97, 1.79; p-trend=0.065).

CONCLUSIONS:

Maternal serum PFOA concentrations were inversely related to duration of any breastfeeding in this cohort, even after controlling for prior breastfeeding. These findings suggest that PFOA exposure may adversely affect breastfeeding duration and highlight the need to consider the potential adverse effects of maternal environmental chemical exposure on breastfeeding.

KEYWORDS:

Breastfeeding; Perfluoroalkyl substances; Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid; Perfluorooctanoic acid

PMID:
27179585
PMCID:
PMC4907828
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2016.04.034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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