Circulating levels of perfluoroalkyl substances and prevalent diabetes in the elderly
Several environmental contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, bisphenol A and phthalates, have been linked to diabetes. We therefore investigated whether other kinds of contaminants, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also called perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), are also associated with diabetes.
The Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) study investigated 1,016 men and women aged 70 years. Seven PFAS were detected in almost all participant sera by ultra-high performance liquid chromatograph/tandem mass spectrometry. Diabetes was defined as use of hypoglycaemic agents or fasting glucose >7.0 mmol/l.
114 people had diabetes. In the linear analysis, no significant relationships were seen between the seven PFAS and prevalent diabetes. However, inclusion of the quadratic terms of the PFAS revealed a significant non-linear relationship between perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and diabetes, even after adjusting for multiple confounders (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.19, 3.22, p = 0.008 for the linear term and OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.08, 1.44, p = 0.002 for the quadratic term). Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) also showed such a relationship (p = 0.01). PFOA was related to the proinsulin/insulin ratio (a marker of insulin secretion), but none of the PFAS was related to the HOMA-IR (a marker of insulin resistance) following adjustment for multiple confounders.
PFNA was related to prevalent diabetes in a non-monotonic fashion in this cross-sectional study, supporting the view that this perfluoroalkyl substance might influence glucose metabolism in humans at the level of exposure seen in the general elderly population.
KeywordsDiabetes Elderly Environmental contaminants Epidemiology Insulin Perfluoroalkyl substances
Linear isomer of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid
Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid
Perfluorodecane sulfonic acid
Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid
Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid
Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor
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