Prenatal exposures to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been associated with developmental outcomes in offspring. We found that prenatal concentrations of some PFAS may be associated with reduced bone mass and size in 17-year-old British girls, although it is not clear whether these associations are driven by body size.
PURPOSE: PFAS are used to make protective coatings on common household products. Prenatal exposures have been associated with developmental outcomes in offspring. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we investigated the association between prenatal concentrations of PFAS and bone health in girls at 17 years of age and whether body composition can explain any associations.
METHODS: We measured concentrations of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) in maternal serum samples collected during pregnancy. We obtained bone health outcomes in the girls, such as bone mineral density, bone mineral content, bone area, and area-adjusted bone mineral content from whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans. We used multivariable linear regression to explore associations between each PFAS and each bone health outcome with adjustment for important confounders such as girls' age at clinic visit, maternal education, and gestational age at sample collection. We also controlled for girls' height and lean mass to explore the role body composition had on observed associations.
RESULTS: Prenatal PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA concentrations were associated with inverse effects on bone size and mass after adjusting for important confounders. Conversely, PFNA was positively associated with area-adjusted bone mineral content. However, most significant associations attenuated after additional controlling for height and lean mass.
CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal concentrations of some PFAS may be associated with reduced bone mass and size in adolescent girls, although it is not clear whether these associations are driven by body size.
- Bone development
- Body composition