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Prenatal Maternal Serum Concentrations of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Association with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability

Emerging work has examined neurodevelopmental outcomes following prenatal exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), but few studies have assessed associations with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our objective was to estimate associations of maternal prenatal PFAS concentrations with ASD and intellectual disability (ID) in children. Participants were from a population-based nested case-control study of children born from 2000 to 2003 in southern California, including children diagnosed with ASD (n=553), ID without autism (n=189), and general population (GP) controls (n=433). Concentrations of eight PFAS from stored maternal sera collected at 15-19 wk gestational age were quantified and compared among study groups. We used logistic regression to obtain adjusted odds ratios for the association between prenatal PFAS concentrations (parameterized continuously and as quartiles) and ASD versus GP controls, and separately for ID versus GP controls. Geometric mean concentrations of most PFAS were lower in ASD and ID groups relative to GP controls. ASD was not significantly associated with prenatal concentrations of most PFAS, though significant inverse associations were found for perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) [adjusted ORs for the highest vs. lowest quartiles 0.62 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.93) and 0.64 (95% CI: 0.43, 0.97), respectively]. Results for ID were similar. Results from this large case-control study with prospectively collected prenatal measurements do not support the hypothesis that prenatal exposure to PFAS is positively associated with ASD or ID.

Authors: Lyall K; Yau VM; Hansen R; Kharrazi M; Yoshida CK; Calafat AM; Windham G; Croen LA

Environ Health Perspect. 2018 01 02;126(1):017001. Epub 2018-01-02.

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