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Association of serum concentrations of perfluoroalkyl compounds with poor growth and failure to weight gain in 2-year-old children

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International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology20152015 (Suppl 1) :P31

  • Published:


  • Weight Gain
  • Birth Weight
  • Growth Parameter
  • Sulfonic Acid
  • Short Stature


Potential health concerns of perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) have been raised.


We investigated the relationship between exposure to PFCs and growth parameters in Korean 2-year-old children.


Three hundred sixty children (189 boys, 1.9 to 2.2 years) born as appropriate gestational age infants were enrolled. Height and weight at visit, birth weight, midparental height (MPH) and bone age (BA) were evaluated.


Among fifteen PFCs analyzed, perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) were detected in >90% of the serum samples. The number of chemicals above median concentrations among these 5 PFCs were graded on a scale of 0 to 5, and classified into exposure (0) (n = 97), exposure (1-2) (n = 88), and exposure (≥3) groups. After adjusting for sex, birth weight, MPH, and BA, log-transformed PFHxS, PFOS, PFOA, and PFDA were associated with a 1.60, 1.35, 1.57, 1.29 cm decrease in height (all P < 0.005). Log-transformed PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, and PFDA were negatively related to weight gain (all P < 0.05). Change in weight Z-scores decreased progressively from exposure (0), to exposure (1-2), and to exposure (≥3) (mean +0.43 vs. +0.29 vs. +0.10, P = 0.012).


Increased concentrations of PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, and PFDA were associated with short stature and failure to weight gain in 2-year-old children. The more PFCs detected above median concentrations, the shorter and the poorer weight gain. Further prospective studies are needed to clarify causal relationship.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Children's Hospital, Seoul, Korea
Environmental Health Center, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Department of Environmental Health, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul Nati, Korea
Institute of Environmental Medicine, Seoul National University Medical Research, Seoul, Korea


© Ah Lee et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.