Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants and child overweight/obesity at 5-year follow-up: a prospective cohort study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEnvironmental health. 2018, 17 (9). 10.1186/s12940-017-0338-x
Background Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), may influence offspring weight gain. More prospective epidemiological studies are needed to compliment the growing body of evidence from animal studies. Methods Serum from 412 pregnant Norwegian and Swedish women participating in a Scandinavian prospective cohort study were collected in 1986–88, and analyses of two perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and five organochlorines (OCs) were conducted. We used linear and logistic regression models with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to evaluate the associations between maternal serum POP concentrations at 17–20 weeks of gestation and child overweight/obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 85th percentile) at 5-year follow-up. Results were further stratified by country after testing for effect modification. We also assessed potential non-monotonic dose-response (NMDR) relationships. Results In adjusted linear models, we observed increased BMI-for-age-and-sex z-score (β = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.01–0.35), and increased triceps skinfold z-score (β = 0.15, 95% CI: 0.02–0.27) in children at 5-year follow-up per ln-unit increase in maternal serum perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) concentrations. We observed increased odds for child overweight/obesity (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) for each ln-unit increase in maternal serum PFOS levels (adjusted OR: 2.04, 95% CI: 1.11–3.74), with stronger odds among Norwegian children (OR: 2.96, 95% CI: 1.42–6.15). We found similar associations between maternal serum perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) concentrations and child overweight/obesity. We found indications of NMDR relationships between PFOS and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) 153 and child overweight/obesity among Swedish children. Conclusion We found positive associations between maternal serum PFAS concentrations and child overweight/obesity at 5-year follow-up, particularly among Norwegian participants. We observed some evidence for NMDR relationships among Swedish participants.