Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers found a significant association between serum perfluoroalkyl chemical levels and hyperuricemia [an unusually high concentration of uric acid in the blood] in children. This association has already been reported in adults exposed to high levels of the chemicals.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) were examined in the study. These chemicals are found in surfactants, lubricants, polishes, paper and textile coatings, food packaging, fire-retarding foams, household dust, as well as vegetables and meat products from supermarkets. Research has shown that they cause developmental, endocrine and other adverse health outcomes in laboratory animals, researchers wrote.
To examine the serum uric acid level or the presence of hyperuricemia (uric acid levels ?6 mg/dL), they conducted a cross-sectional study of 1,772 children (mean age, 15 years) from the NHANES (1999-2000 and 2003-2008).
The literature has established that moderate elevations in uric acid also are associated with gout, dyslipidemia, increased systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.
The researchers wrote that serum levels of PFOA and PFOS were positively associated with hyperuricemia, independent of age, sex, race/ethnicity, BMI, annual household income, physical activity, serum total cholesterol and serum cotinine levels.
According to data, patients were placed in four quartiles for PFOA and PFOS. Those in quartile 4 demonstrated an association with hyperuricemia for PFOA (OR=1.62; 95% CI, 1.10-2.37) and PFOS (OR=1.65; 95% CI, 1.10-2.49) vs. patients in quartile 1.
These findings suggest that serum perfluoroalkyl chemical levels are significantly associated with hyperuricemia in a nationally representative sample of US children, researchers wrote.
This remained evident after adjustments. Further prospective studies are warranted to confirm or disprove these findings, they concluded.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.