Background: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are stable and persistent in the environment, animals, and humans. PFASs can penetrate placenta and affect fetal growth. We investigated associations between prenatal exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA) and global methylation levels. Specific Aims and Methods: The study used the subjects from Taiwan Birth Panel birth cohort study, including all pregnant women who gave birth between July 2004 and June 2005 in four hospitals in Taipei city and New Taipei City. A total of 363 mother-infant pairs were included in the final analyses. PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, and PFUA were measured by UPLC-MS/MS in cord blood. LINE-1 and Alu repeated elements from cord blood was used to represent global DNA methylation levels. Multivariable regression models were used to adjust potential confounders. Results: After controlling for potential confounders, each unit increase in the natural log-transformed PFOS exposure was associated with an adjusted OR of 1.72 (95% CI: 1.03, 2.88) for low Alu methylation level when dichotomized methylation level by medium. No significant effects between PFOA, PFNA, PFUA and methylation levels in the multivariable regression models were observed. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that prenatal PFOS exposure may be associated with low Alu methylation level.
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