Press Release

Study finds PFAS exposure may cause early menopause in women

Washington, DC June 03, 2020

Early menopause could impact heart, bone health

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFASexposure may cause menopause to occur two years earlier in women, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Known as ‘forever chemicals, PFAS are manmade and used in a wide variety of nonstick and waterproof products and firefighting foams. PFAS chemicals can contaminate drinking waterand it has been estimated that 110 million Americans (one out of threemay consume drinking water contaminated with these chemicals.

PFAS are everywhere. Once theenter the body, they don't break down and build up over time, said the study’s lead author Ning DingPh.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, Mich. “Because of their persistence in humans and potentially detrimental effects on ovarian function, it is important to raise awareness of this issue and reduce exposure to these chemicals.”

The researchers studied 1,120 midlife women from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nationa 17-year-long prospective cohort studyThey found that women with high PFAS levels in their blood samples reached menopause two years earlier than those with lower levels.

Even menopause a few years earlier than usual could have a significant impact on cardiovascular and bone health, quality of life, and overall health in general among women, said corresponding author Sung Kyun Park, Sc.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Other authors include Siobán D. Harlow, John F. Randolph Jr., Bhramar Mukherjee, and Stuart Batterman of the University of Michigan School of Public HealthAntonia M. Calafat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga.; and Ellen B. Gold of the University of California in Davis, Calif.

The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Environmental Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

The manuscript, Associations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances with Incident Natural Menopause: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation,” was published online, ahead of print.

 

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Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.


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