Perfluoroalkyl substances and time to pregnancy in couples from Greenland, Poland and Ukraine

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Background: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are suggested to affect human fecundity through longer time to pregnancy (TTP). We studied the relationship between four abundant PFAS and TTP in pregnant women from Greenland, Poland and Ukraine representing varying PFAS exposures and pregnancy planning behaviors. Methods: We measured serum levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) in 938 women from Greenland (448 women), Poland (203 women) and Ukraine (287 women). PFAS exposure was assessed on a continuous logarithm transformed scale and in country-specific tertiles. We used Cox discrete-time models and logistic regression to estimate fecundability ratios (FRs) and infertility (TTP >13 months) odds ratios (ORs), respectively, and 95% confidence intervals (CI) according to PFAS levels. Adjusted analyses of the association between PFAS and TTP were done for each study population and in a pooled sample. Results: Higher PFNA levels were associated with longer TTP in the pooled sample (log-scale FR∈=∈0.80; 95% CI 0.69-0.94) and specifically in women from Greenland (log-scale FR∈=∈0.72; 95% CI 0.58-0.89). ORs for infertility were also increased in the pooled sample (log-scale OR∈=∈1.53; 95% CI 1.08-2.15) and in women from Greenland (log-scale OR∈=∈1.97; 95% CI 1.22-3.19). However, in a sensitivity analysis of primiparous women these associations could not be replicated. Associations with PFNA were weaker for women from Poland and Ukraine. PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS were not consistently associated with TTP. Conclusions: Findings do not provide consistent evidence that environmental exposure to PFAS is impairing female fecundity by delaying time taken to conceive.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Bispebjerg Hospital
  • Utrecht University
  • Aarhus University Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Reproduktionsmedicin och gynekologi


TidskriftEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
StatusPublished - 2014 dec 22
Peer review utfördJa