Children's Health Advance Publication
Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals and Asthma among Children 12–19 Years of Age: NHANES (1999–2008)
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Citation: Humblet O, Diaz-Ramirez LG, Balmes JR, Pinney SM, Hiatt RA. Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals and Asthma among Children 12–19 Years of Age: NHANES (1999–2008). Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1306606.
Received: 4 February 2013
Accepted: 5 June 2014
Advance Publication: 6 June 2014
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Background: Perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs) are a family of commonly-used industrial chemicals whose persistence and ubiquity in human blood samples has led to concern about possible toxicity. Several animal studies and one recent human study have suggested a link between exposure to PFCs and asthma, although few epidemiologic studies have been conducted.
Methods: We evaluated the association between serum concentrations of eight PFCs, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), with self-reported lifetime asthma, recent wheezing, and current asthma using data from participants 12-19 years of age from the 1999-2000 and 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.
Results: In multivariable adjusted models, PFOA was associated with higher odds of ever having received a diagnosis of asthma (OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.39 for a doubling in PFOA), whereas for PFOS there were inverse relationships with both asthma and wheezing (OR: 0.88, 95% CI: 0.74, 1.04; OR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.67, 1.02, respectively). The associations were attenuated after accounting for sampling weights. No associations were seen between the other PFCs and any outcome.
Conclusions: This cross-sectional study provides some evidence for associations between exposure to PFCs and asthma-related outcomes in children. The evidence is inconsistent, however, and prospective studies are needed.
CEHN July 2014 Article of the Month
“Outdoor Formaldehyde and NO2 Exposures and Markers of Genotoxicity in Children Living Near Chipboard Industries” (Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307259) has been selected by the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) as its July 2014 Article of the Month. These CEHN summaries discuss the potential policy implications of current children’s environmental health research.
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