PFOA, PFOS Appear to Raise Lipid Levels in Children

More research on perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonate effects warranted
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Increased perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) levels are associated with elevated serum lipid levels in children and adolescents, though the links warrant further evaluation, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Stephanie J. Frisbee, of the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, and colleagues evaluated 12,476 children and adolescents who were part of the C8 Health Project, which stemmed from the settlement of a class action lawsuit dealing with PFOA contamination of drinking water.

The investigators found that the mean serum PFOA concentration was 69.2 ng/mL and the mean serum PFOS concentration was 22.7 ng/mL. After adjustment for covariables, linear regression analysis revealed that PFOA and PFOS were significantly associated with increased total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). The increases were nonlinear, with greater increases in total and LDL-C observed in the lowest range -- especially of PFOA. The authors concluded that causal inferences were limited by the epidemiologic and cross-sectional natures of the research but that the consistently observed associations warrant further research.

"Should the association prove to be etiologic, the cumulative effects of such an elevation in cholesterol on long-term cardiovascular health are unclear given the early age at which these associations were observed," the authors write.

The C8 Health Project was implemented by Brookmar Inc. Some study authors were engaged in the project because of a contractual arrangement between Brookmar and West Virginia University. Three authors are members of the C8 Science Panel, appointed by a court to determine "probable links" between PFOA exposure and health outcomes.

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