Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Exposure, Gestational Weight Gain, and Postpartum Weight Changes in Project Viva.

Document Type


Publication Date



Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Journal Title

Obesity (Silver Spring)

MeSH Headings

Female, Gestational Weight Gain, Postpartum Period, Humans, Weight Gain


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test the extent to which pregnancy per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) concentrations were associated with gestational weight gain and postpartum weight changes.

METHODS: This study was composed of 1,614 women recruited between 1999 and 2002 via the Project Viva cohort with pregnancy plasma concentrations of six PFAS, including perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and 2-(N-ethyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetic acid. Gestational weight gain was defined as the difference between last pregnancy weight and prepregnancy weight, 1-year postpartum weight retention as the difference between 1-year postpartum weight and prepregnancy weight, and 3-year postpartum weight change as the difference between 3-year postpartum weight and prepregnancy weight.

RESULTS: During pregnancy, women gained 0.37 kg (95% CI: 0.11-0.62) more weight per doubling of 2-(N-ethyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetic acid. At 1 year post partum, women retained 0.55 kg (95% CI: 0.07-1.04) more weight per doubling of PFOA. At 3 years post partum, women gained 0.91 kg (95% CI: 0.25-1.56) more weight per doubling in PFOA. Findings were similar after adjustment for all PFAS. Other PFAS were not associated with weight changes. Postpartum associations were stronger among women with higher prepregnancy BMI. Models were adjusted for demographics.

CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy PFAS were associated with greater gestational weight gain, weight retention, and weight gain years after pregnancy.



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