The association between PFOA, PFOS and serum lipid levels in adolescents

Sarah Dee Geiger, Jie Xiao, Alan Ducatman, Stephanie Frisbee, Kim Innes, Anoop Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Dyslipidemia in children is associated with accelerated atherosclerosis and earlier cardiovascular disease development. Environmental exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) have been shown to be associated with dyslipidemia in adults. However, there are few general population studies examining this association in children or adolescents. In this context, we examined the association between serum PFOA and PFOS levels and dyslipidemia in a nationally representative sample of US adolescents. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 815 participants ≤18. years of age from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2008. The main outcome was dyslipidemia, defined as total cholesterol >170. mg/dL, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) >110. mg/dL, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) <40. mg/dL or triglycerides >150. mg/dL. Results: We found that serum PFOA and PFOS were positively associated with high total cholesterol and LDL-C, independent of age, sex, race-ethnicity, body mass index, annual household income, physical activity and serum cotinine levels. Compared to subjects in quartile 1 (referent), the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for high total cholesterol among children in quartile 4 was 1.16 (1.05-2.12) for PFOA and 1.53 (1.11-1.64) for PFOS. PFOA and PFOS were not significantly associated with abnormal HDL-C and triglyceride levels. Discussion: Our findings indicate that serum PFOA and PFOS are significantly associated with dyslipidemia in adolescents, even at the lower "background" exposure levels of the US general population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Dyslipidemia
  • Lipids
  • Perfluoroalkyl chemicals
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid
  • PFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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