198146 Relationship Between Birth Weight, Gestational Age and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in a Contaminated Public Drinking Water Supply

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lynda Nolan, MSN, MPH, CRNP , Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
John Nolan, MPH , New York University, New York, NY
Frances Shofer, PhD , University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Nancy Rodway, MD, MPH , The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Edward Emmett, MD, MS , Occupational Medicine Silverstein Pavilion, Ground Floor, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have examined the associations between perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) levels in cord blood and maternal plasma with lowered birth weight and gestational age in humans; however, no study has examined these effects in a population of known high PFOA exposure. Residents drinking PFOA-contaminated water from the Little Hocking Water Association (LHWA) in Washington County, Ohio have serum PFOA levels approximately 80 times those in the general U.S. population. OBJECTIVES: To compare birth weights and gestational ages of neonates born to mothers residing in zip codes with water service provided completely, partially or not at all by the LHWA. METHODS: Multiple logistic and linear regression analyses were performed on singleton neonatal birth weight data supplied by the Ohio Department of Health to examine the associations between LHWA water service category (used as a surrogate for PFOA exposure) with mean birth weight, mean gestational age, the likelihood of low birth weight (<2500g), and the likelihood of preterm birth (<37 completed weeks of gestation). All models were adjusted for maternal age, gestational age, sex, race and population-level socioeconomic status. RESULTS: The incidence of low birth weight, preterm birth, mean birth weight and mean gestational age of neonates did not significantly differ among water service categories. CONCLUSION: Markedly elevated PFOA exposure, as categorized by water service category, is not associated with increased risk of lowered birth weight or gestational age. This study does not confirm earlier findings of an association between PFOA and lowered birth weight observed at normal population levels.

Learning Objectives:
1. To understand the relationship between maternal perfluorooctanoate acid (PFOA) exposure and the risk of lowered birth weight (LBW) and decreased gestational age in an Ohio community exposed to PFOA through contaminated public drinking water. 2. To compare these findings with similar published investigations that have analyzed the relationship between maternal and cord serum PFOA levels and LBW. 3. To assess the need for future studies that investigate the effects of maternal PFOA exposure on fetal and neonatal development.

Keywords: Water, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology. This abstract was recently published in manuscript form in the Journal of Reproductive Toxicology for which I was the primary author. I have also been an OB/GYN NP for the past 25 years and have dedicated my clinical career to understanding the myriad of environmental factors that negatively impact obstetric outcome.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.