Association of perfluoroalkyl substances exposure with impaired lung function in children

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Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated associations between serum levels of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and asthma or asthma related-biomarkers. However, no studies have reported a possible relationship between PFASs exposure and lung function among children. The objective of the present study is to test the association between PFASs exposure and lung function in children from a high exposure area by using a cross-sectional case-control study, which included 132 asthmatic children and 168 non-asthmatic controls recruited from 2009 to 2010 in the Genetic and Biomarkers study for Childhood Asthma. Structured questionnaires were administered face-to-face. Lung function was measured by spirometry. Linear regression models were used to examine the influence of PFASs on lung function. The results showed that asthmatics in our study had significantly higher serum PFAS concentrations than healthy controls. Logistic regression models showed a positive association between PFASs and asthma, with adjusted odds ratios (ORs) ranging from 0.99 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.80–1.21) to 2.76 (95% CI: 1.82–4.17). Linear regression modeling showed serum PFASs levels were significantly negatively associated with three pulmonary function measurements (forced vital capacity: FVC; forced expiratory volume in 1 s: FEV1; forced expiratory flow 25–75%: FEF25–75) among children with asthma, the adjusted coefficients between lung function and PFASs exposure ranged from −0.055 (95%CI: −0.100 to −0.010) for FVC and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) to −0.223 (95%CI: −0.400 to −0.045) for FEF25–75 and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFASs were not, however, significantly associated with pulmonary function among children without asthma. In conclusion, this study suggests that serum PFASs are associated with decreased lung function among children with asthma.

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