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.
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