Lopez-Espinosa, MJ, Mondal, D, Armstrong, BJ, Eskenazi, B and Fletcher, T
'Perfluoroalkyl substances, sex hormones, and
insulin-like growth factor-1 at 6–9 Years of age :
a cross-sectional analysis within the C8 health project'
, Environmental Health Perspectives
Access Information: 'Reproduced with permission from Environmental Health Perspectives'
Background: Exposure to some perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorohexane sulfonate
(PFHxS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorononanoic acid
(PFNA), may alter levels of sex hormones and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in animals. Human
studies on this topic are scarce and none have been conducted in young children.
Objectives: To investigate the relationship between levels of PFAS and estradiol, total testosterone and
IGF-1 in 2,292 children (aged 6-9 years) from the C8 Health Project living near a chemical plant in the
Mid-Ohio Valley (USA) with local contamination from PFOA.
Methods: Serum samples were collected in 2005-2006 and analyzed for PFAS, sex hormones and
IGF-1. Results from regression models were expressed as the adjusted percentage difference (95% CI)
per sex-specific interquartile range (IQR) increment of each PFAS serum concentration. Analyses by
PFAS quartiles were also conducted.
Results: Median concentrations of PFHxS, PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA were 8, 35, 22, and 1.7 ng/mL in
boys and 7, 30, 21, and 1.7 ng/mL in girls. In boys, PFOA concentrations were significantly associated
with testosterone levels (-4.9% [-8.7, -0.8%]); PFOS with estradiol (-4.0% [-7.7, -0.1%]), testosterone
(-5.8% [-9.4, -2.0%]), and IGF-1 (-5.9% [-8.3, -3.3%]); and PFNA with IGF-1 (-3.5% [-6.0, -1.0%]). In
girls, significant associations were found between PFOS and testosterone (-6.6% [-10.1, -2.8%]) and
IGF-1 (-5.6% [-8.2, -2.9%]); and PFNA and IGF-1 (-3.8% [-6.4, -1.2%]). In both sexes, the magnitudes
of the associations decreased monotonically across quartiles for testosterone and PFOS, and for IGF-1
and both PFOS and PFNA.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study suggesting that PFAS are associated with lower
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