Prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances and anogenital distance at 3 months of age in a Danish mother-child cohort

Reprod Toxicol. 2017 Mar;68:200-206. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2016.08.019. Epub 2016 Aug 31.


In the Odense child cohort, serum concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) were measured in 638 pregnant women. Birth weight, head and abdominal circumferences and gestational age were determined. Anogenital distance (AGD), the distance from the anus to the genital organs, and penile width were measured 3 months after expected date of birth in 511 children. PFOS, PFHxS, PFNA and PFDA were associated with a decreased AGD in girls (p-trend<0.05) after adjusting for age and weight-for-age standard deviation score. PFOS in the highest quartile was associated with a 2.8mm (95% confidence intervals -4.5; -1.1) reduction in AGD in girls. No such tendencies were seen in boys. However, a tendency toward increased birth weight in girls and reduced birth weight in boys suggests that sex-dimorphic effects may occur from endocrine disrupting effects of these substances.

Keywords: Anogenital distance; Birth weight; Endocrine disruption; Gestational length; Perfluorinated compounds; Reproduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / blood*
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / toxicity
  • Anal Canal / anatomy & histology
  • Anthropometry
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity
  • Genitalia, Female / anatomy & histology
  • Genitalia, Male / anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Factors


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Fluorocarbons