Association between exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and blood glucose in pregnant women

By Juxiao Li, Jingzhi Yao, Wei Xia, Jiayin Dai, Hongxiu Liu, Yitao Pan, Shunqing Xu, Shi Lu, Shuna Jin, Yuanyuan Li, Xiaojie Sun, Bin Zhang, Tongzhang Zheng, Yangqian Jiang, and Tao Jing
Int J Hyg Environ Health
September 15, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2020.113596

Increasing evidence shows that exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), common and persistent anthropogenic pollutants, may affect glucose homeostasis. However, data is limited for pregnant women, and it is less clear how novel fluorinated pollutants affect glucose homeostasis during pregnancy. Our goal was to investigate the relationships of exposure to13 PFASs including some novel fluorinated pollutants with blood glucose in 874 Chinese pregnant women from the general population. We measured blood glucose following an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in the second trimester and quantified PFAS concentrations in umbilical cord blood. The associations of PFAS exposure with fasting, 1-h OGTT and 2-h OGTT glucose were examined using the general linear regression model. For every doubling of perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), a short-chain PFAS, the 1-h and 2-h OGTT blood glucose increased 0.09 mmol/L (β = 0.09, 95%CI: 0.02, 0.17) and 0.07 mmol/L (β = 0.07, 95%CI: 0.01, 0.13), respectively. In addition, perfluoroheptanoate (PFHpA), an alternative of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), was positively associated with fasting glucose (β = 0.07, 95%CI: 0.02, 0.13; high vs low). Higher levels of PFAS exposure were related to increased blood glucose in pregnant women, indicating PFAS exposure may impair glucose homeostasis during pregnancy.

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