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Brief Report: Plasma Concentrations of Perfluorooctane Sulfonamide and Time-to-pregnancy Among Primiparous Women

Whitworth, Kristina W.; Haug, Line S.; Sabaredzovic, Azemira; Eggesbo, Merete; Longnecker, Matthew P.

doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000524
Reproductive Epidemiology

Background: A previous study reported a negative association between perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA) concentrations and fecundability.

Methods: We examined this association among women enrolled in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), in 2003–2004. This analysis was restricted to 451 primiparous women to avoid bias due to previous pregnancy. Self-reported time-to-pregnancy (TTP) and plasma were obtained around 18 weeks of gestation. Approximately half of the women had measurable PFOSA levels; missing values were multiply imputed. We used the logistic analogue of discrete-time survival analysis to examine the adjusted association between PFOSA, other perfluoroalkyl substances, and TTP.

Results: The median-measured PFOSA concentration was 0.03 ng/ml (interquartile range = 0.02, 0.07). The age and body mass index-adjusted association between an interquartile distance increase in PFOSA and TTP was 0.91 (95% confidence interval = 0.71, 1.17). Imputation of missing PFOSA resulted in similar estimates. No association was observed with other perfluoroalkyl substances.

Conclusion: Based on a weakly decreased fecundability odds ratio, we found only limited support for an association between plasma PFOSA concentrations and TTP among primiparous women. See Video Abstract at

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From the aDepartment of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, San Antonio Regional Campus, San Antonio, TX; bSouthwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, Houston, TX; cNorwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; dDepartment of Health and Human Services, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Durham NC.

Submitted 24 July 2015; accepted 1 June 2016.

This research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Health, NIH/NIEHS (Contract No. N01-ES-85433), NIH/NINDS (Grant No. 1 UO1 NS 047537-01), and the Norwegian Research Council/FUGE (Grant No. 151918/S10).

While this manuscript was being revised in response to reviewer comments, MPL began working part-time at Ramboll, with support from 3M. The work on the revision was done solely with NIEHS support (MPL as a government contractor). Each author certifies that their freedom to design, conduct, interpret, and publish research was not compromised by any sponsor.

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Correspondence: Kristina Walker Whitworth, The University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio Regional Campus, 7411 John Smith Drive, Suite 1100, San Antonio, TX 78216. E-mail:

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