Exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances and blood pressure in pregnancy among 1436 women from the Odense Child Cohort

Anna Birukov, Louise Bjørkholt Andersen, Marianne Skovsager Andersen, Julie H. Nielsen, Flemming Nielsen, Henriette Boye Kyhl, Jan Stener Jørgensen, Philippe Grandjean, Ralf Dechend, Tina Kold Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: Previous studies of association between exposure to poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and gestational hypertension (GH) and preeclampsia (PE) have shown conflicting results, but most dichotomized outcome and did not study continuous blood pressure (BP) changes. Objectives: To study the association between PFAS exposure in early pregnancy and maternal BP trajectories in pregnancy, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia. Methods: 1436 women were enrolled in the Odense Child Cohort in early pregnancy and had a serum sample drawn, from which perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) were measured using LC–MS/MS. Repeated BP measurements through pregnancy and information on PE were obtained from hospital files. Adjusted linear mixed models were used to investigate association between PFAS exposure and BP trajectory. Associations between PFAS and PE and GH were assessed by Cox proportional hazards model. Results: All women had measurable concentrations of PFAS. In all of many comparisons higher PFAS exposure (apart from PFHxS) was associated with higher systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures, although not all were significant, which is unlikely to be due to chance. After adjustment, each doubling in PFOS or PFOA exposure was associated with 0.47 mmHg (95% CI: −0.13; 1.08) and 0.36 mmHg (−0.19; 0.92) higher SBP; and 0.58 mmHg (0.13; 1.04) and 0.37 mmHg (−0.05; 0.79) higher DBP. No clear associations between PFAS exposure and PE or GH were found. Discussion: The magnitude of the association between PFAS exposure and BP might appear small, statistically non-significant and the possible clinical importance low. However, at a population level this may slightly shift the distribution of BP towards an increased incidence of GH. If BP increases in pregnancy, it may have long-term impact on health not only of the pregnant woman but also of her offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106442
JournalEnvironment International
Volume151
Number of pages7
ISSN0160-4120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Environmental chemicals
  • Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy

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