INTRODUCTION: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were among various persistent organic pollutants suspected to have been released during the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11. Evidence suggests PFAS may have cardiometabolic effects, including alterations in lipid profiles. This study evaluated the association between cord PFAS and lipids in a population prenatally exposed to the WTC disaster.
STUDY POPULATION: 222 pregnant women in the Columbia University WTC birth cohort enrolled between December 13, 2001 and June 26, 2002 at hospitals located near the WTC site: Beth Israel, St. Vincent's, and New York University Downtown.
METHODS: We evaluated the association between five cord blood PFAS (perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecane sulfonate (PFDS)) and cord blood lipids (total lipids, total cholesterol, triglycerides).
RESULTS: Median (interquartile range (IQR)) concentrations of PFAS were 6.32 (4.58-8.57), 2.46 (1.77, 3.24), 0.38 (0.25, 0.74), 0.66 (0.48, 0.95) and 0.11 (0.09, 0.16) ng/mL for PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, PFHxS and PFDS, respectively. Median (IQR) for lipids were 59.0 (51.5, 68.5) mg/dL for total cholesterol, 196.5 (170.5, 221.2) mg/dL for total lipids and 33.1 (24.2, 43.9) mg/dL for triglycerides. In fully adjusted models, several PFAS were associated with higher lipid levels, including evidence of a strong linear trend between triglycerides and both PFOA and PFHxS.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings support previous evidence of an association between PFAS exposure and altered lipid profiles and add novel information on this relationship in cord blood, as well as for an understudied PFAS, PFDS.