Associations between levels of serum perfluorinated chemicals and adiponectin in a young hypertension cohort in Taiwan

Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Dec 15;45(24):10691-8. doi: 10.1021/es201964x. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


In animals, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), specifically perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfate (PFOS), function as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) alpha agonists. However, the relevance of animal (primarily rodent) data to humans is unresolved. While plasma adiponectin level is very responsive to PPAR gamma agonist drugs, it has not been determined whether adiponectin level is related to serum PFCs concentrations. In the present study, 287 subjects (12-30 years of age) were recruited to determine the relationship between serum level of PFCs and serum level of adiponectin. The results showed males had higher serum PFOS concentrations than females and that those with metabolic syndrome had lower serum PFOA than controls. Besides, it showed regional elevations of the perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA) (median concentration: 7.11 ng/mL) in the study subjects. No relationship of PFOA, PFOS, PFUA, and the sum of all four PFCs was found to glucose homeostasis, adiponectin level, lipid profile, and inflammatory markers. The median and the range of perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) concentration (in ng/mL; for four categories corresponding to the <50, 50-74, 75-89, and ≥90th percentiles) were 0.38 (0.38-1.68), 3.22 (1.73-4.65), 5.85 (4.75-8.29), 10.56 (8.40-25.40), respectively. After controlling for confounding factors, multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the mean natural log-transformed level of adiponectin increased significantly across categories of PFNA (in ng/mL; 8.78, 8.73, 9.06, 9.36; P for trend = 0.010 in the full model). In conclusion, higher serum PFNA concentration is associated with elevated serum adiponectin concentration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult


  • Adiponectin
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons