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1.  Short Sleep Duration and Poor Sleep Quality Increase the Risk of Diabetes in Japanese Workers With No Family History of Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(2):313-318.
OBJECTIVE
To investigate whether a difference in the risk for diabetes exists in Japanese workers with regard to sleep duration/quality and the presence or absence of a family history of diabetes (FHD).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The researchers conducted a prospective, occupational-based study of local government employees in Sapporo, Japan. Between April 2003 and March 2004, 3,570 nondiabetic participants, aged 35–55 years, underwent annual health checkups and completed a self-administered questionnaire that included information on sleep duration/quality and FHD at baseline. Having diabetes was defined as taking medication for diabetes or a fasting plasma glucose level of ≥126 mg/dL at follow-up (2007–2008).
RESULTS
A total of 121 (3.4%) new cases of diabetes were reported. In multivariate logistic regression models of workers without an FHD, and after adjustment for potential confounding factors, the odds ratio (95% CI) for developing diabetes was 5.37 (1.38–20.91) in those with a sleep duration of ≤5 h compared with those with a sleep duration of >7 h. Other risk factors were awakening during the night (5.03 [1.43–17.64]), self-perceived insufficient sleep duration (6.76 [2.09–21.87]), and unsatisfactory overall quality of sleep (3.71 [1.37–10.07]). In subjects with an FHD, these associations were either absent or weaker.
CONCLUSIONS
The current study shows that poor sleep is associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes in workers without an FHD. Promoting healthy sleeping habits may be effective for preventing the development of diabetes in people without an FHD.
doi:10.2337/dc11-1455
PMCID: PMC3263910  PMID: 22210572
2.  Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the SEPTIN12 gene may be associated with azoospermia by meiotic arrest in Japanese men 
Purpose
To investigate the association between SEPTIN12 gene variants and the risk of azoospermia caused by meiotic arrest.
Methods
Mutational analysis of the SEPTIN12 gene was performed using DNA from 30 Japanese patients with azoospermia by meiotic arrest and 140 fertile male controls.
Results
The frequencies of the c.204G>C (Gln38His) allele and the CC genotype were significantly higher in patients than in fertile controls (p < 0.05).
Conclusion
The c.204G>C (Gln38His) variant in the SEPTIN12 gene was associated with increased susceptibility to azoospermia caused by meiotic arrest.
doi:10.1007/s10815-011-9679-5
PMCID: PMC3252415  PMID: 22116646
Male infertility; Meiosis; Septin; SNP
3.  Single nucleotide polymorphism in the UBR2 gene may be a genetic risk factor for Japanese patients with azoospermia by meiotic arrest 
Purpose
To investigate the association between the UBR2 gene and the risk of azoospermia caused by meiotic arrest.
Methods
Mutational analysis of the UBR2 gene was performed using DNA from 30 patients with azoospermia by meiotic arrest to 80 normal controls.
Results
The genotypic and allelic frequencies of c.1,066A>T variant were significantly higher in patient than control groups (p < 0.001).
Conclusion
The c.1,066A>T variant in the UBR2 gene is associated with increased susceptibility to azoospermia caused by meiotic arrest.
doi:10.1007/s10815-011-9576-y
PMCID: PMC3170112  PMID: 21573678
Azoospermia; Meiotic arrest; UBR2; Polymorphism
4.  Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity is an independent predictor of incident hypertension in Japanese normotensive male subjects 
Objectives
Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality are closely associated with hypertension, however, predictors of incident hypertension have not been fully established. We have conducted a study aimed at evaluating whether brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) is a predictor of incident hypertension.
Methods
The relation between baPWV, a noninvasive index of aortic stiffness, and incident hypertension was evaluated in a cohort of 2,278 Japanese normotensive male subjects with a follow-up of 3 years.
Results
Of the 2, 278 study participants, 151 (6.6%) had incident hypertension during the follow-up. After adjustment for variables, including age, gender, body mass index (BMI), smoking habit, alcohol consumption, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, family history of hypertension, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, and fasting plasma glucose, multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that baPWV was a significant and independent predictor of incident hypertension with an adjusted odds ratio 1.45 (95% confidence interval 1.17–1.79, P < 0.01). In addition, baPWV values >1,380 cm/s indicated a high risk for incident hypertension.
Conclusions
Among the Japanese normotensive male subjects participating in this study, BaPWV was a significant and independent predictor of incident hypertension. This result suggests that BaPWV could be a useful screening method to identify normotensive individuals who should be targeted for interventions aimed at preventing the incident hypertension.
doi:10.1007/s12199-010-0189-3
PMCID: PMC3117209  PMID: 21431793
Arterial stiffness; Hypertension; Pulse wave velocity; Cohort studies; Japanese male subjects
5.  Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in HORMAD1 may be a risk factor for azoospermia caused by meiotic arrest in Japanese patients 
Asian Journal of Andrology  2012;14(4):580-583.
Genetic mechanisms are implicated as a cause of some male infertility, yet are poorly understood. Meiosis is unique to germ cells and essential for reproduction. The synaptonemal complex is a critical component for chromosome pairing, segregation and recombination. Hormad1 is essential for mammalian gametogenesis as knockout male mice are infertile. Hormad1-deficient testes exhibit meiotic arrest in the early pachytene stage and synaptonemal complexes cannot be visualized. To analyze the hypothesis that the human HORMAD1 gene defects are associated with human azoospermia caused by meiotic arrest, mutational analysis was performed in all coding regions by direct sequence analysis of 30 Japanese men diagnosed with azoospermia resulting from meiotic arrest. By the sequence analysis, three polymorphism sites, Single Nucleotide Polymorphism 1 (c. 163A>G), SNP2 (c. 501T>G) and SNP3 (c. 918C>T), were found in exons 3, 8 and 10. The 30 patients with azoospermia and 80 normal pregnancy-proven, fertile men were analyzed for HORMAD1 polymorphisms. Both SNP1 and SNP2 were associated with human azoospermia caused by complete early meiotic arrest (P<0.05). We suggest that the HORMAD1 has an essential meiotic function in human spermatogenesis.
doi:10.1038/aja.2011.180
PMCID: PMC3720071  PMID: 22407170
azoospermia; HORMAD1; male infertility; male meiosis; SNP
6.  Dampness, food habits, and sick building syndrome symptoms in elementary school pupils 
Objectives
We investigated dampness/mold in schools and dwellings, and food habits and subjective symptoms in elementary school pupils, in order to clarify the effect of dampness and food habits on subjective symptoms in elementary school pupils.
Methods
Questionnaires were used to investigate dampness in classrooms and dwellings in Hokkaido, Japan, and its effect on subjective symptoms in 1,077 pupils in 8 elementary schools. We used a dampness index for both the home and classroom; the index was the sum of the presence of four dampness indicators: (1) visible mold, (2) moldy odor, (3) water leakage, and (4) condensation on windowpanes. The questionnaire also contained queries about food habits, as follows: the frequency of eating breakfast, whether the energy provided by the school lunch was sufficient, and whether eating too many snacks and/or sweets were consumed. Adjusted logistic regression was used to determine whether dampness and food habits were related to the subjective symptoms.
Results
In fully adjusted models, the home dampness index was significantly related to cough, general symptoms, and having at least one symptom; the classroom dampness index was significantly related to nasal symptoms. In addition, usually not eating breakfast was significantly related to eye symptoms, and too many snacks and/or sweets was significantly related to eye, nasal, and general symptoms.
Conclusions
Both home and classroom dampness can affect pupils’ health. Home dampness, in particular, was significantly related to cough and general symptoms, and classroom dampness was significantly related to nasal symptoms. Furthermore, favorable food habits have a positive effect on pupils’ subjective symptoms.
doi:10.1007/s12199-010-0139-0
PMCID: PMC2921041  PMID: 21432556
Dampness; Mold; Sick building syndrome; School pupils; Food habits
7.  Association between lifestyle habits and bone mineral density in Japanese juveniles 
Objectives
We explored the relationship between bone mineral density (BMD) and lifestyle in juveniles to identify factors leading to higher peak bone mass and prevention of osteoporosis in later life.
Methods
Juveniles (1,364 students: 770 boys and 594 girls, aged 6–18 years) attending school in Hokkaido prefecture, Japan, were asked to complete a brief self-administered diet history questionnaire for 10-year-olds (BDHQ10y) providing information about personal history, lifestyle, and intake of nutritional elements. In addition, BMD and grip strength were measured. We analyzed the relationship between BMD and lifestyle factors.
Results
The difference in BMD for boys was larger among the junior and senior high school groups. The difference in BMD for girls was larger among older elementary and later school children. Anthropometric variables and grip strength were strongly correlated with BMD. Having a nap-time routine was significantly correlated with BMD, but sleep time and sports club activities were not. BMD among juveniles who attained secondary sexual characteristics was significantly higher than that of juveniles of the same age who had not attained these characteristics. Calcium intake was significantly lower in senior high school students compared with other grades. Consumption of milk by senior high school boys and junior high school girls was weakly correlated with BMD.
Conclusions
Our findings encourage educational interventions to counsel students to avoid weight loss and calcium deficiency. This effective intervention should begin before the higher elementary school, when juveniles have the greatest likelihood for preventing lower peak bone mass and osteoporosis.
doi:10.1007/s12199-009-0131-8
PMCID: PMC2886892  PMID: 21432549
Peak bone mass; Juvenile; Bone mineral density; Lifestyle; Osteoporosis
8.  Serological Studies of Neurologic Helminthic Infections in Rural Areas of Southwest Cameroon: Toxocariasis, Cysticercosis and Paragonimiasis 
Background
Both epilepsy and paragonimiasis had been known to be endemic in Southwest Cameroon. A total of 188 people (168 and 20 with and without symptoms confirmed by clinicians, respectively, 84.6% under 20 years old) were selected on a voluntary basis. Among 14 people (8.3%) with history of epilepsy, only one suffered from paragonimiasis. Therefore, we challenged to check antibody responses to highly specific diagnostic recombinant antigens for two other helminthic diseases, cysticercosis and toxocariasis, expected to be involved in neurological diseases. Soil-transmitted helminthic infections were also examined.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Fecal samples were collected exclusively from the 168 people. Eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms were found from 56 (33.3%), 72 (42.8%), and 19 (11.3%) persons, respectively. Serology revealed that 61 (36.3%), 25 (14.9%) and 2 (1.2%) of 168 persons showed specific antibody responses to toxocariasis, paragonimiasis and cysticercosis, respectively. By contrast, 20 people without any symptoms as well as additional 20 people from Japan showed no antibody responses. Among the 14 persons with epilepsy, 5 persons were seropositive to the antigen specific to Toxocara, and one of them was simultaneously positive to the antigens of Paragonimus. The fact that 2 children with no history of epilepsy were serologically confirmed to have cysticercosis strongly suggests that serological survey for cysticercosis in children is expected to be useful for early detection of asymptomatic cysticercosis in endemic areas.
Conclusions/Significance
Among persons surveyed, toxocariasis was more common than paragonimiasis, but cysticercosis was very rare. However, the fact that 2 children were serologically confirmed to have cysticercosis was very important, since it strongly suggests that serology for cysticercosis is useful and feasible for detection of asymptomatic cysticercotic children in endemic areas for the early treatment.
Author Summary
A total of 188 people (168 and 20 with and without symptoms confirmed by clinicians, respectively, 84.6% under 20 years old) were selected on a voluntary basis in Cameroon. Soil transmitted helminthic infections were prevalent among persons surveyed as is common in developing countries, since eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms were found from 56 (33.3%), 72 (42.8%) and 19 (11.3%) persons, respectively. Serological analyses revealed that 61 (36.3%), 25 (14.9%) and 2 (1.2%) persons were positive to the diagnostic antigens specific for toxocariasis, paragonimiasis and cysticercosis, respectively. Among 14 people with epilepsy, 5 persons were seropositive to the antigen of Toxocara and one of them was simultaneously positive to the antigens of Paragonimus. Serological confirmation of cysticercosis in two children is very important, and we suggest that further serologic surveys of cysticercosis be carried out in both children and adults in this area for the promotion of a better quality of life including control and early treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000732
PMCID: PMC2897840  PMID: 20625553
9.  Inflammation as a cardiovascular risk factor and pulse wave velocity as a marker of early-stage atherosclerosis in the Japanese population 
Inflammation and pulse wave velocity (PWV) are a potential risk factor and marker, respectively, for atherosclerosis in the primary prevention setting. Atherosclerosis is now generally accepted to be an inflammatory disorder of the arterial wall, and the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) level has been reported to be a strong predictor of cardiovascular events. High-sensitivity-CRP is associated with two factors related to inflammation: (1) the local production of CRP by atheromatous tissue or coronary artery smooth muscle cells and (2) adipose tissue as a potent source of inflammatory cytokines. Based on studies in North America and Europe, hs-CRP has been established as a cardiovascular risk factor and a cut-off value has been recommended. However, Japanese have lower hs-CRP values than their Western counterparts, partly because Japanese have a lower body mass index (BMI), which correlates positively to hs-CRP, and partly because lifestyle and genetic factors can affect hs-CRP values. Therefore, a cut-off value needs to be established by cohort studies for the Japanese population. Carotid-femoral PWV is most commonly measured by applanation tonometry, particularly in Europe, but this method is critically dependent upon the accurate placing of transducers over the arteries and is both time-consuming and complex. A novel device has been recently developed in Japan that measures brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) using a volume-rendering method. Brachian-ankle PWV is a suitable screening method because of its technical simplicity and shorter measurement time. It is associated not only with conventional cardiovascular risk factors but also with new risk factors, such as inflammation, γ-glutamyltransferase, chronic kidney disease, and psychosocial factors. However, a suitable cut-off value has yet to be established.
doi:10.1007/s12199-009-0080-2
PMCID: PMC2684804  PMID: 19568843
Arterial stiffness; Atherosclerosis; C-reactive protein; Inflammation; Pulse wave velocity
10.  Relation of dampness to sick building syndrome in Japanese public apartment houses 
Objectives
The effect of dampness on sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms has not been fully investigated in Japan. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the possible effects of dampness on SBS symptoms among residents in Japanese public apartment houses.
Methods
A questionnaire was used to investigate the degree of dampness in public apartment houses in Asahikawa, Japan, and its effect on SBS symptoms, involving 480 residents in 64 buildings. Dampness indicators were as follows: condensation on the windowpanes, condensation on the walls and/or closets, visible mold in the bathrooms, visible mold on the walls, window frames, and/or closet, moldy odor, slow drying of the wet towels in bathrooms, water leakage, and bad drainage in bathrooms.
Results
All dampness indicators except for visible mold in bathrooms had significantly higher odds ratios (ORs) for all or any SBS symptoms after adjustment. The dampness index, the number of positive dampness indicators, was significantly related to all SBS symptoms after adjustment.
Conclusions
There are serious problems relating to dampness in Japanese public housing, which affects the health of residents. There is a need to educate the residents about the relationship between dampness and SBS, and building problems should be rectified.
doi:10.1007/s12199-008-0052-y
PMCID: PMC2684768  PMID: 19568865
Dampness; Sick building syndrome; Condensation; Mold
11.  Correlations between Prenatal Exposure to Perfluorinated Chemicals and Reduced Fetal Growth 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2008;117(4):660-667.
Background
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) are man-made, ubiquitous, and persistent contaminants in the environment, wildlife, and humans. Although recent studies have shown that these chemicals interfere with fetal growth in humans, the results are inconsistent.
Objectives
Our goal was to investigate the correlation between relatively low levels of PFOS and PFOA in maternal serum and birth weight and birth size.
Methods
We conducted a hospital-based prospective cohort study between July 2002 and October 2005 in Sapporo, Japan. A total of 428 women and their infants were involved in the study. We obtained characteristics of the mothers and infants from self-administered questionnaire surveys and from medical records. We analyzed maternal serum samples for PFOS and PFOA by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS).
Results
After adjusting for confounding factors, PFOS levels negatively correlated with birth weight [per log10 unit: β = −148.8 g; 95% confidence interval (CI), −297.0 to −0.5 g]. In addition, analyses stratified by sex revealed that PFOS levels negatively correlated with birth weight only in female infants (per log10 unit: β = −269.4 g; 95% CI, −465.7 to −73.0 g). However, we observed no correlation between PFOA levels and birth weight.
Conclusion
Our results indicate that in utero exposure to relatively low levels of PFOS was negatively correlated with birth weight.
doi:10.1289/ehp.11681
PMCID: PMC2679613  PMID: 19440508
birth weight; chest circumference; fetal growth; head circumference; length; perfluorinated chemicals; perfluorooctane sulfonate; perfluorooctanoate; prenatal exposure
12.  Comparative study of simple semiquantitative dust mite allergen tests 
Objective
Two simple, commercially available and semiquantitative dust mite allergen tests, namely, the Acarex test® and Mitey Checker®, were compared using 2 and 10 μg of Der 1 allergen per gram of dust, as evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), to clarify which method is better suited for practical use.
Methods
Mite allergen exposure levels of 106 floor, bed and sofa surfaces were evaluated by the Acarex test®, Mitey Checker®, and ELISA. A template of 100 cm×100cm was placed on the same surfaces to identify the examined areas. A dust collection filter was attached to a vacuum cleaner, and the area in the template (1 m2) was vacuumed. Then, to evaluate the other two tests, samples from the two other areas in the template (1 m2) that neighbored each other and did not overlap were vacuumed.
Results
To predict Der 1 levels of 2 μg/g dust or higher, the sensitivity and specificity of the Acarex test® were 100% and 13.3%, and those, of Mitey Checker® were 91.8% and 71.1%, respectively. To predict Der 1 levels of 10 μg/g dust or higher, the sensitivity and specificity of the Acarex test® were 50.0% and 96.2%, and those of Mitey Checker® were 85.7% and 79.5%, respectively. Compared with Der 1<2.0, 2.0–9.9.≥10.0 (μg/g dust), the percent agreement and kappa of the Acarex test® were 47.2% and 0.234, and those of Mitey Checker® were 70.0% and 0.505, respectively.
Conclusion
To evaluate mite allergen exposure level for practical use in Japanese living environments, Mitey Checker® is better than the Acarex test® because of its higher sensitivity and specificity.
doi:10.1265/ehpm.12.187
PMCID: PMC2723374  PMID: 21432080
house dust; mite allergen; sick building syndrome; allergy
13.  A Novel Role of the NRF2 Transcription Factor in the Regulation of Arsenite-Mediated Keratin 16 Gene Expression in Human Keratinocytes 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2008;116(7):873-879.
Background
Inorganic sodium arsenite (iAs) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and is associated with an increased risk of skin hyperkeratosis and cancer.
Objectives
We investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of the keratin 16 (K16) gene by iAs in the human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT.
Methods
We performed reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assays, Western blots, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays to determine the transcriptional regulation of the K16 gene by iAs. We used gene overexpression approaches to elucidate the nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2 related factor 2 (NRF2) involved in the K16 induction.
Results
iAs induced the mRNA and protein expression of K16. We also found that the expression of K16 was transcriptionally induced by iAs through activator protein-1–like sites and an antioxidant response element (ARE) in its gene promoter region. Treatment with iAs also enhanced the production and translocation of the NRF2 transcription factor, an ARE-binding protein, into the nucleus without modification of its mRNA expression. In addition, iAs elongated the half-life of the NRF2 protein. When overexpressed in HaCaT cells, NRF2 was also directly involved in not only the up-regulation of the detoxification gene thioredoxin but also K16 gene expression.
Conclusions
Our data clearly indicate that the K16 gene is a novel target of NRF2. Furthermore, our findings also suggest that NRF2 has opposing roles in the cell—in the activation of detoxification pathways and in promoting the development of skin disorders.
doi:10.1289/ehp.10696
PMCID: PMC2453154  PMID: 18629308
antioxidant response element; arsenic; hyperkeratosis; keratin 16 (K16); keratinocytes; nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2 related factor 2 (NRF2); transcription
14.  Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Dioxins on Mental and Motor Development in Japanese Children at 6 Months of Age 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2005;114(5):773-778.
Several studies have shown that prenatal and/or postnatal background-level exposure to environmental chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins, induces adverse effects on the neurodevelopment of children. However, other studies have not detected any harmful influences on neurodevelopment. Furthermore, except in western countries, no developmental tests have been carried out in relation to detailed assessment of exposure to PCBs and dioxins. In this study (the Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children’s Health), the effect of prenatal exposure to background levels of PCBs and dioxins on infant neurodevelopment in Japan/Sapporo was elucidated. The associations between the total or individual isomer level of PCBs and dioxins in 134 Japanese pregnant women’s peripheral blood and the mental or motor development of their 6-month-old infants were evaluated using the second edition of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. The mean level of total toxicity equivalency quantity (TEQ) was 18.8 (4.0–51.2) pg/g lipid in blood of 134 mothers. After adjustment for potential confounding variables, the total TEQ value was shown not to be significantly associated with mental developmental index (MDI) or psychomotor developmental index (PDI). However, the levels of one polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD) isomer, total PCDDs, and total PCDDs/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) were significantly negatively associated with MDI, and the levels of two PCDD isomers and three PCDF isomers were significantly negatively associated with the PDI. In conclusion, the background-level exposure of several isomers of dioxins during the prenatal period probably affects the motor development of 6-month-old infants more than it does their mental development.
doi:10.1289/ehp.8614
PMCID: PMC1459935  PMID: 16675436
dioxins; infant development; maternal blood; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); prenatal exposure
15.  Indoor airborne mold spores in newly built dwellings 
Objective
To investigate the relationships between sick building syndrome and mold in newly-built dwellings.
Methods
Symptoms of 61 residents in 18 dwellings were surveyed by standardized questionnaires. Mold sampling was done by gravity sampling using an open Petri dish. Potato dextrose agar (PDA) and dichloran-18% glycerol agar (DG-18) were used as the culture medium.
Results
There were 6 dwellings in which at least one inhabitant complained of one or more symptoms and 12 dwellings in which none of the inhabitants complained of symptoms. There was a tendency for the dwellings with inhabitants reporting symptoms to have larger colony forming units (CFU) on PDA than those without inhabitants reporting symptoms (p=0.1), but there was no difference in DG-18 result. There was a tendency for the dwellings with inhabitants reporting symptoms to have larger CFU ofCladosporium on PDA than those without (p=0.08), but there was no difference in DG-18 result. Significantly moreUlocladium sp. was detected in the dwellings with inhabitants reporting symptoms than in those without (p=0.03).Cladosporium cladosporioides was detected in all the dwellings with inhabitants reporting symptoms and 75% of the dwellings without.Cladosporium macrocarpum andCladosporium herbarum were detected in 33% of the dwellings with inhabitants reporting e symptoms and none of the dwellings without (p=0.1).
Conclusion
Cladosporium was dominant in the Japanese newly-built dwellings studied, andCladosporium andUlocladium were probably associated with the residents’ symptoms in these newly-built dwellings.
doi:10.1007/BF02900809
PMCID: PMC2723256  PMID: 21432155
mold; sick building syndrome; Cladosporium; Ulocladium
16.  Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Related Perfluorinated Compounds in Human Maternal and Cord Blood Samples: Assessment of PFOS Exposure in a Susceptible Population during Pregnancy 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2004;112(11):1204-1207.
Fluorinated organic compounds (FOCs), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and perfluorooctane sulfonylamide (PFOSA), are widely used in the manufacture of plastic, electronics, textile, and construction material in the apparel, leather, and upholstery industries. FOCs have been detected in human blood samples. Studies have indicated that FOCs may be detrimental to rodent development possibly by affecting thyroid hormone levels. In the present study, we determined the concentrations of FOCs in maternal and cord blood samples. Pregnant women 17–37 years of age were enrolled as subjects. FOCs in 15 pairs of maternal and cord blood samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography–electrospray mass spectrometry coupled with online extraction. The limits of quantification of PFOS, PFOA, and PFOSA in human plasma or serum were 0.5, 0.5, and 1.0 ng/mL, respectively. The method enables the precise determination of FOCs and can be applied to the detection of FOCs in human blood samples for monitoring human exposure. PFOS concentrations in maternal samples ranged from 4.9 to 17.6 ng/mL, whereas those in fetal samples ranged from 1.6 to 5.3 ng/mL. In contrast, PFOSA was not detected in fetal or maternal samples, whereas PFOA was detected only in maternal samples (range, < 0.5 to 2.3 ng/mL, 4 of 15). Our results revealed a high correlation between PFOS concentrations in maternal and cord blood (r2 = 0.876). However, we did not find any significant correlations between PFOS concentration in maternal and cord blood samples and age bracket, birth weight, or levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone or free thyroxine. Our study revealed that human fetuses in Japan may be exposed to relatively high levels of FOCs. Further investigation is required to determine the postnatal effects of fetal exposure to FOCs.
doi:10.1289/ehp.6864
PMCID: PMC1247483  PMID: 15289168
cord blood; fluorinated organic compounds; human; PFOA; PFOS; PFOSA; pregnancy

Results 1-16 (16)