Modeled prenatal exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in association with child autism spectrum disorder: A case-control study

Hyeong Moo Shin, Deborah H. Bennett, Antonia M. Calafat, Daniel Tancredi, Irva Hertz-Picciotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background/objective: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) display neurobehavioral toxicity in laboratory animal studies. We examined associations of modeled prenatal maternal exposure to PFAS with child diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: Participants were 453 mother-child pairs from CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risk from Genetics and Environment), a population-based case-control study. Children underwent psychometric testing and were clinically confirmed for ASD (n = 239) or typical development (TD, n = 214). At the end of the clinic visit, maternal blood specimens were collected. We quantified nine PFAS in maternal serum samples collected when their child was 2–5 years old. As surrogate in utero exposure, we used a model built from external prospective data in pregnancy and 24 months post-partum and then reconstructed maternal PFAS serum concentrations during pregnancy in this case-control sample. We used logistic regression to evaluate associations of modeled prenatal maternal PFAS concentrations with child ASD. Results: Modeled prenatal maternal perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) were borderline associated with increased odds of child diagnosis of ASD (per nanogram per milliliter increase: odds ratio [OR] = 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.98, 2.18 for PFHxS, OR = 1.03; 95% CI: 0.99, 1.08 for PFOS). When compared to the lowest quartile (reference category), the highest quartile of modeled prenatal maternal PFHxS was associated with increased odds of child diagnosis of ASD (OR = 1.95; 95% CI: 1.02, 3.72). Conclusions: In analyses where modeled prenatal maternal PFAS serum concentrations served as in utero exposure, we observed that prenatal PFHxS and PFOS exposure, but not other PFAS, were borderline associated with increased odds of child diagnosis of ASD. Further studies in which PFAS concentrations are prospectively measured in mothers and children at a range of developmental stages are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109514
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume186
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Case-control
  • Exposure reconstruction
  • Maternal serum
  • per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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