Serum perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate concentrations in relation to birth outcomes in the Mid-Ohio Valley, 2005-2010

Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Oct;121(10):1207-13. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1206372. Epub 2013 Jul 9.


Background: Previous research suggests perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) may be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Objective: We conducted a population-based study of PFOA and PFOS and birth outcomes from 2005 through 2010 in a Mid-Ohio Valley community exposed to high levels of PFOA through drinking-water contamination.

Methods: Women provided serum for PFOA and PFOS measurement in 2005-2006 and reported reproductive histories in subsequent follow-up interviews. Reported singleton live births among 1,330 women after 1 January 2005 were linked to birth records (n = 1,630) to identify the outcomes of preterm birth (< 37 weeks gestation), pregnancy-induced hypertension, low birth weight (< 2,500 g), and birth weight (grams) among full-term infants.

Results: We observed little or no evidence of association between maternal serum PFOA or PFOS and preterm birth (n = 158) or low birth weight (n = 88). Serum PFOA and PFOS were both positively associated with pregnancy-induced hypertension (n = 106), with adjusted odds ratios (ORs) per log unit increase in PFOA and PFOS of 1.27 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.55) and 1.47 (95% CI: 1.06, 2.04), respectively, but associations did not increase monotonically when categorized by quintiles. Results of subanalyses restricted to pregnancies conceived after blood collection were consistent with the main analyses. There was suggestion of a modest negative association between PFOS and birth weight in full-term infants (-29 g per log unit increase; 95% CI: -66, 7), which became stronger when restricted to births conceived after the blood sample collection (-49 g per log unit increase; 95% CI: -90, -8).

Conclusion: Results provide some evidence of positive associations between measured serum perfluorinated compounds and pregnancy-induced hypertension and a negative association between PFOS and birth weight among full-term infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / blood*
  • Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Caprylates / blood*
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / blood*
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Caprylates
  • Fluorocarbons
  • perfluorooctanoic acid
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid