The Association of Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Serum Levels and Allostatic Load by Country of Birth and the Length of Time in the United States

By Tahir Bashir, Fafanyo Asiseh, Kenrett Jefferson-Moore, and Emmanuel Obeng-Gyasi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
August 1, 2022
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19159438

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the association of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) concentrations and allostatic load (AL) by the county of birth and the length of time in the United States of America (U.S.), in a representative sample of U.S. adults.

Methods: Data from the 2007–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were used in this cross-sectional study on the U.S. adults aged 20 and older. The analysis was stratified by the length of time in the U.S. and by the county of birth. In all, the sample contained those who were US-born (n = 10,264), Mexico-born (n = 4018), other Spanish speaking country-born (n = 2989), and other not–Hispanic speaking country-born (n = 3911). Poisson models were used to assess the differences in AL and PFAS levels depending on country of birth and length of time in the U.S. Results: Estimates indicated that those born in Other non–Spanish speaking counties had the highest PFAS levels among the country of birth category in the database. Regarding length of time in the U.S., those born in Mexico had low PFAS levels when their length of time in the U.S. was short. The Mexico-born category presented the most at-risk high serum PFAS levels, with AL levels increasing by length of time in the U.S. (p-value < 0.001).

Conclusion: This study found that PFAS concentrations increased by the length of time residing in the U.S. Those born in other non–Hispanic counties had the highest PFAS levels among all the categories. In general, AL and PFAS levels are mostly associated with the length of time in the U.S., with foreign-born individuals having increased levels of both the longer they stay.


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