Estimated exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances during infancy and serum-adipokine concentrations in later childhood

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Final published version, 763 KB, PDF document

Background: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are transferred through human milk and may cause elevated exposure during infancy. Given the lack of early postnatal blood samples, PFAS concentrations can be estimated to serve as predictors of subsequent metabolic toxicity. Methods: A total of 298 children from a prospective birth cohort were followed up through to age 9 years. Serum-PFAS was measured at birth and 18 months of age, while exposures during infancy were estimated by structural equations. Adiponectin, resistin, leptin, and the leptin receptor were measured in serum at age 9. Adjusted regression coefficients for estimated serum-PFAS concentrations were calculated, with additional consideration of the duration of breastfeeding and potential effect modification by sex. Results: A doubling in estimated serum-PFAS concentrations, particularly at ages 6 and 12 months, was associated with a loss of about 10–15% in age 9 resistin concentrations, while other associations were much weaker. Sex dependence of the associations was not observed, and neither did the duration of breastfeeding affect outcomes at age 9. Conclusion: Lowered serum-resistin concentrations at age 9 years were most strongly associated with early postnatal PFAS exposures. These findings suggest that infancy may represent a vulnerable time window for some aspects of metabolic programming that may be affected by PFAS exposure. Impact: Serum-PFAS concentrations during infancy can be estimated in the absence of blood samples.Adipokine concentrations were measured at age 9 years as metabolic biomarkers.Resistin was significantly lower in children with elevated PFAS exposures in infancy.The findings suggest that early postnatal PFAS exposures may affect subsequent metabolic health.Assessment of infancy vulnerability to PFAS can be explored using estimated serum-PFAS concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Research
Pages (from-to)1832–1837
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

ID: 358567245