Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance and Cardio Metabolic Markers in Firefighters

By Naila Khalil, Alan M Ducatman, Shripad Sinari, Dean Billheimer, Chengcheng Hu, Sally Littau, and Jefferey L Burgess
J Occup Environ Med
November 3, 2020
DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002062


To evaluate if serum polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were associated with cardiometabolic markers.


Serum PFAS were evaluated in 38 Arizona firefighters and 49 participants from the 2009 to 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Cardiometabolic markers including carotid intima-medial thickness (CIMT) were measured in the firefighters.


Firefighters had elevated perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and lower perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA) compared to NHANES participants; for nine of the other 12 PFAS the values were not significantly different. There were significant negative associations among firefighters between perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDeA) and total cholesterol and PFUA and interleukin-6. PFAS concentrations were not associated with CIMT.


PFHxS levels were elevated in firefighters compared to NHANES subjects. Serum PFAS concentrations were not associated with increased cardiometabolic risk measures in this population of firefighters.

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