OBJECTIVES - To examine whether prenatal exposure to perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) or perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) is associated with the occurrence of hospitalization for infectious diseases during early childhood.
METHODS - We randomly selected 1400 pregnant women and their offspring from the Danish National Birth Cohort (1996-2002) and measured PFOS and PFOA levels in maternal blood during early pregnancy. Hospitalizations for infection of the offspring were identified by the linkage to the National Hospital Discharge Register through 2008.
RESULTS - Hospitalizations due to infections were not associated with prenatal exposure to PFOA and PFOS. On the contrary, the relative risks of hospitalizations ranged from 0.71 to 0.84 for the three higher quartiles of maternal PFOA levels compared with the lowest, but no dose-response pattern was found. No clear pattern was observed when results were stratified by child's age at infection, with the exception of an inverse association between maternal PFC levels and risk of hospitalization during the child's first year of life.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings suggest that prenatal exposure to PFOA or PFOS is not associated with increased risk of infectious diseases leading to hospitalization in early childhood.
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