PFAS, Phthalate Biomarkers Linked to Reduced Bone Mineral Density in Adolescents

bone mineral density
Each doubling of serum perfluorooctanoate, overall PFAS/phthalate mixture linked to lower areal BMD in male adolescents

HealthDay News — Certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and phthalates appear to be associated with areal bone mineral density (aBMD) in adolescents, according to a study published online May 3 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Jenny L. Carwile, Sc.D., from Maine Medical Center Research Institute in Portland, and colleagues examined serial cross-sectional data from 453 male and 395 female adolescents (aged 12 to 19 years) from the 2011 to 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The associations of individual PFAS and phthalate biomarkers and the overall PFAS/phthalate biomarker mixture with the aBMD z-score were examined in sex-specific models.

The researchers found that each doubling of serum perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate, urinary mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP), mono-n-butyl phthalate, and the overall PFAS/phthalate mixture was associated with a lower aBMD z-score in boys (e.g., PFOA: −0.24). In girls, serum PFOA and urinary MiBP were associated with a higher aBMD z-score (e.g., PFOA: 0.09; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.07 to 0.25). There was no difference seen in the findings by race/ethnicity.

“Our research found an association between certain PFAS and phthalates and reduced bone mineral density in adolescent males,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Because bone accrual primarily occurs during adolescence, if replicated, this finding may have implications for lifelong bone health.”

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