Case-control study on perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) and the risk of prostate cancer

Environ Int. 2014 Feb:63:35-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Nov 16.


Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) are emerging environmental contaminants. Possible health effects for humans include increased risk for cancer but the knowledge is limited. In this study serum concentrations of certain perfluorinated sulfonates (PFHxS and PFOS) and carboxylates (PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnDA) were analyzed among 201 cases with prostate cancer and 186 population based control subjects. All blood samples were collected during 2007-2011 and no case had been treated with radio- or chemotherapy before enrolment in the study. The blood concentrations did not differ statistically significant between cases and controls except for PFDA with higher concentration among the cases (p=0.03). Analyses based on Gleason score and prostate specific antigen (PSA) level did not change the results. Heredity was a risk factor for prostate cancer yielding odds ratio (OR)=1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.01-3.1. The analyzed PFAAs yielded statistically significant higher ORs in cases with a first degree relative reporting prostate cancer, e.g., PFOA gave OR=2.6, 95% CI=1.2-6.0 and PFOS gave OR=2.7, 95% CI=1.04-6.8. The results showed a higher risk for prostate cancer in cases with heredity as a risk factor. In further studies interaction between gene and environment should be considered.

Keywords: Heredity; PFOA; PFOS; Prostate cancer; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alkanesulfonates
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Alkanesulfonates
  • Carboxylic Acids
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons