Objectives Perfluorooctanate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are ubiquitous man-made compounds. Studies suggest that they are possible hormonal disruptors, but findings are inconsistent. We examined the association between measured PFOS and PFOA exposure and menstrual cycle length and irregularities in European and Inuit women.
Methods This cross-sectional analysis included 1,037 pregnant women from the INUENDO cohort, enrolled during antenatal care visits between June 2002 and May2004 in Greenland, Poland and Ukraine. Information on menstrual cycle characteristics were obtained by questionnaires and the woman had a blood sample drawn. Serum concentrations of PFOS and PFOA were measured by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). The association between PFOS/PFOA and menstrual cycle length and irregularities were analysed using logistic regression with tertiles of exposure and stratified by country. Estimates are given as crude odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results No consistent effects of PFOS and PFOA exposure on menstrual cycle characteristics were observed across all three groups of pregnant women. Within populations, we observed reduced odds of short cycles (≤24 days) among women from Ukraine exposed to high levels of PFOA (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.15–0.97). However, in Greenland representing the highest exposure level, PFOA was not related to short cycles (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.21–5.34).
Conclusions These preliminary findings on 1,037 pregnant women from the INUENDO cohort in Greenland, Poland and Ukraine suggest that it is unlikely that exposure to PFOA and PFOS is a main cause of menstrual disturbances.
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