Association of increased risk of cardiovascular diseases with higher levels of perfluoroalkylated substances in the serum of adults

By Xinghui Feng, Guangfeng Long, Guowei Zeng, Qi Zhang, Binqian Song, and Kai-Hong Wu
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
July 18, 2022
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-022-22021-z

Evidence showing the association of perfluoroalkylated substance (PFAS) exposure with CVD risk is scarce. The objective of this study was to explore the relationships of CVD risk with mixed or individual serum PFAS levels among general adults. We analyzed combined data of 7904 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2012 with a Bayesian kernel machine regression (BKMR) to examine the relationships of individual or mixed PFAS exposure with total CVD risk. A logistic regression model and restricted cubic spline (RCS) regression with multivariate adjustment were conducted to assess the relationships between individual serum PFAS levels and the risk of total CVD or its subtypes. A mediation model was applied to investigate how C-reactive protein (CRP) levels mediate the strength of the association. The BKMR results indicated a positive relationship between mixed PFAS exposure and total CVD risk; among the PFASs, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) had the highest posterior inclusion probability. As determined by logistic regression, a log-unit change in PFOS levels was positively related to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke in males (both P < 0.05). A nonlinear relationship was found between PFOS levels and stroke risk (P for nonlinearity = 0.04), as illustrated in the RCS plot. The mediation analysis showed that CRP levels mediated 8% and 1.2% of the relationship between serum PFOS and PFNA levels, respectively, and the prevalence of stroke. A significant relationship between higher serum PFAS concentrations and an increased risk of CVD was observed, mainly in males.

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