Umbilical cord serum concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate, perfluorooctanoic acid, and the body mass index changes from birth to 5 1/2 years of age
By Takanobu Horikoshi, Tomoko Nishimura, Yoko Nomura, Toshiki Iwabuchi, Hiroaki Itoh, Takumi Takizawa, and Kenji J Tsuchiya
October 12, 2021
Prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has been reported to affect body weight from birth to childhood, but the results remain inconclusive. We investigated whether umbilical cord blood concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are associated with children's risk trajectory for obesity. 600 children were randomly selected from the Hamamatsu Birth Cohort for Mothers and Children (HBC study) and their umbilical cord serum PFAS concentrations were quantified. Participants underwent BMI measurements at ages 1, 4, 10, 18, 24, 32, 40, 50, and 66 months. Growth curve modeling with random intercept was performed with standardized BMI as outcome variable. PFOS was negatively associated with standardized BMI (β = - 0.34; p = 0.01), with a marginally significant interaction with the child's age (β = 0.0038; p = 0.08). PFOA was negatively associated with standardized BMI (β = - 0.26, 95% CI - 0.51, 0; p = 0.05), with a significant interaction with the child's age (β = 0.005; p = 0.01). Stratified analysis by sex revealed that these effects were significant only among girls. Prenatal exposure to PFAS initially was associated with lower standardized BMI during infancy, but this effect dissipated over time and reversed in direction during later childhood. The effects of prenatal PFAS on higher standardized BMI is stronger in girls.