Life-course Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Relation to Markers of Glucose Homeostasis in Early Adulthood

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jul 13;106(8):2495-2504. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab267.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the prospective associations of life-course perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) exposure with glucose homeostasis at adulthood.

Methods: We calculated insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function indices based on 2-h oral glucose tolerance tests at age 28 in 699 Faroese born in 1986-1987. Five major PFASs were measured in cord whole blood and in serum from ages 7, 14, 22, and 28 years. We evaluated the associations with glucose homeostasis measures by PFAS exposures at different ages using multiple informant models fitting generalized estimating equations and by life-course PFAS exposures using structural equation models.

Results: Associations were stronger for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and suggested decreased insulin sensitivity and increased beta-cell function-for example, β (95% CI) for log-insulinogenic index per PFOS doubling = 0.12 (0.02, 0.22) for prenatal exposures, 0.04 (-0.10, 0.19) at age 7, 0.07 (-0.07, 0.21) at age 14, 0.05 (-0.04, 0.15) at age 22, and 0.04 (-0.03, 0.11) at age 28. Associations were consistent across ages (P for age interaction > 0.10 for all PFASs) and sex (P for sex interaction > 0.10 for all PFASs, except perfluorodecanoic acid). The overall life-course PFOS exposure was also associated with altered glucose homeostasis (P = 0.04). Associations for other life-course PFAS exposures were nonsignificant.

Conclusions: Life-course PFAS exposure is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and increased pancreatic beta-cell function in young adults.

Keywords: beta-cell function; developmental exposures; endocrine disruptors; insulin resistance; perfluoroalkyl substances; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / blood
  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / toxicity
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Caprylates / blood
  • Caprylates / toxicity
  • Child
  • Decanoic Acids / blood
  • Decanoic Acids / toxicity
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Fluorocarbons / blood
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Male
  • Sulfonic Acids / blood
  • Sulfonic Acids / toxicity
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Blood Glucose
  • Caprylates
  • Decanoic Acids
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Sulfonic Acids
  • perfluorodecanoic acid
  • perfluorohexanesulfonic acid
  • perfluoro-n-nonanoic acid
  • perfluorooctanoic acid
  • perfluorooctane sulfonic acid