Association of serum levels of perfluoroalkyl substances with gestational diabetes mellitus and postpartum blood glucose

J Environ Sci (China). 2018 Jul;69:5-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2018.03.016. Epub 2018 Mar 22.


This study was conducted to examine the association of perfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) exposure with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) risk and postpartum fasting blood glucose. We used a 1:2 matched case-control study with 84 GDM subjects and 168 healthy pregnant women from Beijing, China. The maternal blood was collected at 1-2days before delivery, and eight linear isomers and fourteen branched isomers were determined in maternal serum. Logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the associations after adjusting for potential confounders. The median of the sum of levels of total PFASs was 4.24ng/mL with a interquartile range (IQR) of 2.82-6.54ng/mL. Although maternal PFAS exposure was not associated with risk of GDM, significant positive associations were observed between evaluated exposure to specific PFAS congeners and increasing blood glucose. The odds ratio (ORs) of the highest category of postpartum fasting blood glucose for perfluoro-1-metylheptylsulfonat (1m-PFOS), perfluoro-3/4-metylheptylsulfonat (3m+4m-PFOS), perfluoro-5-metylheptylsulfonat (5m-PFOS), and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) were 2.03 (95% CI: 1.09-3.77), 1.93 (95% CI: 1.04-3.58), 2.48 (95% CI: 1.33-4.65), and 2.26 (95% CI: 1.21-4.21), respectively, suggesting negative effects of maternal exposure to specific PFAS compounds on glucose metabolism.

Keywords: Blood glucose; Gestational diabetes mellitus; Perfluoroalkyl substances.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / blood
  • Beijing
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood*
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Blood Glucose
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons