Prenatal Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Body Fatness in Girls

Terryl J Hartman, Antonia M Calafat, Adrianne K Holmes, Michelle Marcus, Kate Northstone, WD Flanders, Kayoko Kato, Ethel Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
304 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are used in surface coatings that resist stains, grease, and water.

Methods: The association between in utero PFAS exposure and girls' body fatness at age 9 was analyzed in The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (UK). Maternal serum [median 15 weeks: interquartile range (IQR) 10 and 28 weeks of gestation] was analyzed for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoate (PFNA). Body composition was measured by dual X-ray emission absorptiometry, and percent total body fat (%BF) was calculated. Associations between PFASs and body fatness were modeled by multivariable linear regression.

Results: Among 359 girls, median (IQR) %BF was 27.5 (IQR 21.7–34.6). Median (IQR) concentrations (all ng/mL) were 3.7 (2.9–4.8) for PFOA, 19.8 (15.0–25.3) for PFOS, 1.6 (1.3–2.2) for PFHxS, and 0.5 (0.4–0.7) for PFNA. Maternal PFAS concentrations were not significantly associated with daughters' total %BF overall. Mothers' educational status modified associations for PFOA and PFOS with %BF (P-interactions: 0.005 and 0.02, respectively). %BF was higher [1.4%; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.3 to 2.5] for each one unit (ng/mL) higher PFOA among girls with mothers in the middle education group, but lower (−0.6%; 95% CI: −1.12 to −0.04) for the corresponding comparison among girls with mothers with the highest education. %BF was lower (−0.2%; 95% CI: −0.3 to −0.1) for each one unit higher PFOS among girls with the most educated mothers.

Conclusions: Prenatal exposure to PFOA and PFOS was associated with girls' %BF within some strata of maternal education status. PFHxS and PFNA were not associated with %BF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-230
Number of pages9
JournalChildhood Obesity
Issue number3
Early online date27 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Prenatal Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Body Fatness in Girls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this