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Master's Culminating Experience

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Background: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are persistent synthetic compounds that have been environmental contaminants since the 1950s. Exposure in the general population can be through food and water ingestion, use of non-stick cookware, and dust from stain-resistant carpet. Studies have suggested PFASs act as endocrine disrupters and to affect liver and immune function, as well as cause increases in serum lipid levels.

Objective: To explore the association between six common detectable PFASs and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in United States (U.S.) adults. Methods: Data from 739 participants aged 20 years and older from the 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were analyzed. Descriptive analysis was performed on the dataset. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to determine independent association between the serum PFASs and MetS controlling for confounders including age, ethnicity, income, smoking status, and gender.

Results: In the descriptive analysis, the overall prevalence of MetS in the sample population (49.5%) was higher than previously reported in the literature for U.S. adults, but distribution remained relatively equal between males (48.9%) and females (50.1%). In unadjusted logistic regression analysis, each of the six PFASs showed a positive association with MetS, but only PFOS-branched (p < .001) and PFHxS (p = .019) were statistically significant. However, after controlling for confounders, no significant association between the presence of PFASs and MetS was noted.

Conclusion: In U.S. adults aged 20 and older, current serum concentrations of PFASs are not significantly associated with MetS.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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