Association between levels of serum perfluorooctane sulfate and carotid artery intima-media thickness in adolescents and young adults

Chien Yu Lin, Lian Yu Lin, Ting Wen Wen, Guang Wen Lien, Kuo Liong Chien, Sandy H J Hsu, Chien Chang Liao, Fung Chang Sung, Pau Chung Chen, Ta Chen Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Background Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) have been widely used for years in a variety of products worldwide. Although epidemiological findings have shown that PFC levels are positively associated with cholesterol and uric acid levels, it is unknown whether PFCs are associated with atherosclerosis. Methods We recruited 664 subjects (12-30 years) from a population-based sample of adolescents and young adults based on a mass urine screening to determine the relationship between serum levels of PFCs and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). Results The median concentrations and ranges of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfate (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFUA) were 3.49 (0.75-52.2) ng/mL, 8.65 (0.11-85.90) ng/mL, 0.38 (0.38-25.4) ng/mL, and 6.59 (1.50-105.7) ng/mL, respectively. After controlling for age, gender, smoking status, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, multiple linear regression analysis revealed that CIMT increased significantly across quartiles of PFOS (0.434 mm, 0.446 mm, 0.458 mm, 0.451 mm; P for trend <0.001). Subpopulation analysis showed the association between PFOS and CIMT was more evident and significant in females, non-smokers, subjects of age 12-19 years, BMI <24, and those with APOE genotype of E2 carrier and E3/E3. Conclusions Higher serum concentrations of PFOS were associated with an increase of carotid IMT in this cohort of adolescents and young adults. Further studies are warranted to clarify the causal relationship between PFOS and atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3309-3316
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 9 2013


  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Perfluorinated chemicals
  • Perfluorononanoic acid
  • Perfluorooctane sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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