Maternal Concentrations of Polyfluoroalkyl Compounds during Pregnancy and Fetal and Postnatal Growth in British Girls
Mildred Maisonet,1,2 Metrecia L. Terrell,1 Michael A. McGeehin,2 Krista Yorita Christensen,1 Adrianne Holmes,2 Antonia M. Calafat,2 and Michele Marcus1,2,3
1Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; 2National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; 3Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Background: Prenatal exposures to polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) may be associated with adverse changes in fetal and postnatal growth.
Objective: We explored associations of prenatal serum concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) with fetal and postnatal growth in girls.
Methods: We studied a sample of 447 singleton girls and their mothers participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Data on weight and length were obtained at birth and at 2, 9, and 20 months. Serum samples were obtained in 1991–1992, from mothers during pregnancy. We explored associations between prenatal PFC concentrations and weight at birth as well as longitudinal changes in weight-for-age SD scores between birth and 20 months.
Results: PFOS (median, 19.6 ng/mL), PFOA (median, 3.7 ng/mL), and PFHxS (median, 1.6 ng/mL) were detected in 100% of samples. On average, girls born to mothers with prenatal concentrations of PFOS in the upper tertile weighed 140 g less [95% confidence interval (CI): –238, –42] at birth than girls born to mothers with concentrations in the lower tertile in adjusted models. Similar patterns were seen for PFOA (–133 g; 95% CI: –237, –30) and PFHxS (–108 g; 95% CI: –206, –10). At 20 months, however, girls born to mothers with prenatal concentrations of PFOS in the upper tertile weighed 580 g more (95% CI: 301, 858) when compared with those in the lower tertile. No differences in weight were found for PFOA and PFHxS.
Conclusions: Girls with higher prenatal exposure to each of the PFCs examined were smaller at birth than those with lower exposure. In addition, those with higher exposure to PFOS were larger at 20 months.
Key words: ALSPAC, birth weight, early childhood growth, perfluorohexane sulfonate, perfluorooctanoate, perfluorooctane sulfonate, polyfluoroalkyl compounds, postnatal growth.
Environ Health Perspect 120:1432–1437 (2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1003096 [Online 30 August 2012]
Address correspondence to M. Marcus, Department of Epidemiology, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd. NE, Claudia N Rollins Bldg 4045, Atlanta, GA, 30322 USA. Telephone: (404) 727-8010. Fax: (404) 727-8737. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplemental Material is available online (http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1003096).
We thank the late L. Needham, A. Wanigatunga, B. Basden, K. Kato, and T. Jia for technical assistance with laboratory analyses, and D. Flanders and A. Manatunga for advice on statistical analyses. We are extremely grateful to all the families who took part in this study, the midwives for their help in recruiting them, and the whole ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) team, which includes interviewers, computer and laboratory technicians, clerical workers, research scientists, volunteers, managers, receptionists, and nurses.
The UK Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This research was specifically funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This publication is the work of the authors and they will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper.
The authors declare they have no actual or potential competing financial interests.
Received 13 October 2010; Accepted 10 July 2012; Online 30 August 2012.
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