Perfluorochemicals and Endometriosis: The ENDO Study.

Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Health, Rockville, MD
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) (Impact Factor: 6.18). 09/2012; 23(6):799-805. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31826cc0cf
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT : Environmental chemicals may be associated with endometriosis. No published research has focused on the possible role of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) despite their widespread presence in human tissues.
: We formulated two samples. The first was an operative sample comprising 495 women aged 18-44 years scheduled for laparoscopy/laparotomy at one of 14 participating clinical sites in the Salt Lake City or San Francisco area, 2007-2009. The second was a population-based sample comprising 131 women matched to the operative sample on age and residence within a 50-mile radius of participating clinics. Interviews and anthropometric assessments were conducted at enrollment, along with blood collection for the analysis of nine PFCs, which were quantified using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Endometriosis was defined based on surgical visualization (in the operative sample) or magnetic resonance imaging (in the population sample). Using logistic regression, we estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each PFC (log-transformed), adjusting for age and body mass index, and then parity.
: Serum perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA; OR = 1.89 [95% CI = 1.17-3.06]) and perfluorononanoic acid (2.20 [1.02-4.75]) were associated with endometriosis in the operative sample; findings were moderately attenuated with parity adjustment (1.62 [0.99-2.66] and 1.99 [0.91-4.33], respectively). Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (1.86 [1.05-3.30]) and PFOA (2.58 [1.18-5.64]) increased the odds for moderate/severe endometriosis, although the odds were similarly attenuated with parity adjustment (OR = 1.50 and 1.86, respectively).
: Select PFCs were associated with an endometriosis diagnosis. These associations await corroboration.

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    ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION: What is the effect of maternal exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perflurooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) on female fecundity? SUMMARY ANSWER: Increasing concentrations of PFOA or PFHxS in maternal plasma were associated with reduced fecundability and infertility. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are a group of synthetic compounds used in industrial production. There is a concern about the effect of PFCs on fecundity, as measured by time-to-pregnancy (TTP). Although some recent studies suggest that increasing concentrations of PFCs may decrease fecundity, divergence in the methodological approaches used to evaluate this association have prevented firm conclusions being reached. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: The Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study is a cohort study of 2,001 women recruited before 14 weeks of gestation in 10 cities across Canada between 2008 and 2011. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: A questionnaire was administered and medical chart data and biospecimens were collected from participants. After excluding women who withdrew, those for whom data were incomplete, those whose pregnancies followed birth control failure, and accounting for male fertility, 1743 participants remained. TTP was defined as the number of months of unprotected intercourse needed to become pregnant in the current pregnancy, as self-reported in the first trimester of pregnancy. Plasma concentrations of PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS measured in the first trimester were considered as a surrogate of preconception exposure. Fecundability odds ratios (FORs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazard models for discrete time. FOR < 1 denote a longer TTP and FORs >1 denote a shorter TTP. The odds of infertility (TTP > 12 months or infertility treatment in the index pregnancy) were estimated using logistic regression. Each chemical concentration (ng/ml) was log-transformed and divided by its SD. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: The cumulative probabilities of pregnancy at 1, 6 and 12 months were 0.42 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40-0.45), 0.81 (95% CI 0.79-0.83) and 0.90 (95% CI 0.89-0.92), respectively. The mean maternal age was 32.8 (SD 5.0) years. The geometric means (ng/ml) of PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS were 1.66 (95% CI 1.61-1.71), 4.59 (95% CI 4.46-4.72) and 1.01 (95% CI 0.97-1.05), respectively. After adjustment for potential confounders, PFOA and PFHxS were associated with a 11 and 9% reduction in fecundability per one SD increase (FOR = 0.89; 95% CI 0.83-0.94; P < 0.001 for PFOA and FOR = 0.91; 95% CI 0.86-0.97; P = 0.002 for PFHxS), while no significant association was observed for PFOS (FOR = 0.96; 95% CI 0.91-1.02; P = 0.17). In addition, the odds of infertility increased by 31% per one SD increase of PFOA (odds ratio (OR) = 1.31; 95% CI 1.11-1.53; P = 0.001) and by 27% per one SD increase of PFHxS (OR = 1.27; 95% CI 1.09-1.48; P = 0.003), while no significant association was observed for PFOS (OR = 1.14; 95% CI 0.98-1.34; P = 0.09). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Women with the highest concentrations of PFCs might have been excluded from the study if there is a causal association with infertility. The MIREC study did not assess concentrations of PFCs in males, semen quality, menstrual cycle characteristics or intercourse frequency. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Our results add to the evidence that exposure to PFOA and PFHxS, even at lower levels than previously reported, may reduce fecundability. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: The MIREC study is supported by the Chemicals Management Plan of Health Canada, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR, grant no. MOP - 81285) and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. M.P.V. was supported by a CIHR Fellowship Award, and a CIHR-Quebec Training Network in Perinatal Research (QTNPR) Ph.D. scholarship. W.D.F. is supported by a CIHR Canada Research Chair. There are no conflicts of interest to declare.
    Human Reproduction 01/2015; 30(3):701-709. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Since conflicting results have been published on the role of tobacco smoking on the risk of endometriosis, we provide an up-to-date summary quantification of this potential association. We performed a PubMed/MEDLINE search of the relevant publications up to September 2014, considering studies on humans published in English. We searched the reference list of the identified papers to find other relevant publications. Case-control as well as cohort studies have been included reporting risk estimates on the association between tobacco smoking and endometriosis. 38 of the 1758 screened papers met the inclusion criteria. The selected studies included a total of 13 129 women diagnosed with endometriosis. Academic hospitals. Risk of endometriosis in tobacco smokers. We obtained the summary estimates of the relative risk (RR) using the random effect model, and assessed the heterogeneity among studies using the χ(2) test and quantified it using the I(2) statistic. As compared to never-smokers, the summary RR were 0.96 (95% CI 0.86 to 1.08) for ever smokers, 0.95 (95% CI 0.81 to 1.11) for former smokers, 0.92 (95% CI 0.82 to 1.04) for current smokers, 0.87 (95% CI 0.70 to 1.07) for moderate smokers and 0.93 (95% CI 0.69 to 1.26) for heavy smokers. The present meta-analysis provided no evidence for an association between tobacco smoking and the risk of endometriosis. The results were consistent considering ever, former, current, moderate and heavy smokers, and across type of endometriosis and study design. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to
    BMJ Open 12/2014; 4(12):e006325. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are a family of commonly used synthetic chemicals that have become widespread environmental contaminants. In human serum, perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perflurooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) are most frequently detected, in part owing to their long elimination half-lives of between 3.8 yrs (PFOA) and 8.5 yrs (PFHxS). These PFAAs also cross the placenta and have been associated with developmental toxicity, and some are considered likely human carcinogens. Interventions to eliminate PFAAs in highly contaminated individuals would reduce future health risks, but minimal research has been conducted on methods to facilitate accelerated human clearance of these persistent substances. Methods Six patients with elevated serum concentrations from a single family were treated by intermittent phlebotomy over a 4–5 year period at intervals similar to, or less frequent than what is done for routine blood donation at Canadian Blood Services. The apparent elimination half-life (HLapp) for PFHxS, PFOS, and PFOA in this treated population was calculated in each patient and compared to the intrinsic elimination half-lives (HLin) from a literature reference population of untreated fluorochemical manufacturing plant retirees (n = 26, age >55 yrs). Results For all three PFAAs monitored during phlebotomy, HLapp in each of the family members (except the mother, who had a low rate of venesection) was significantly shorter than the geometric mean HL measured in the reference population, and in some cases were even shorter compared to the fastest eliminator in the reference population. Conclusion This study suggests significantly accelerated PFAA clearance with regular phlebotomy treatment, but the small sample size and the lack of controls in this clinical intervention precludes drawing firm conclusions. Given the minimal risks of intermittent phlebotomy, this may be an effective and safe clinical intervention to diminish the body burden of PFAAs in highly exposed people.
    PLoS ONE 12/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor


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May 22, 2014