A New Interpretation of Relative Importance on an Analysis of Per and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) Exposures on Bone Mineral Density

Abstract

Background: The relative contribution of environmental contaminants is an important, and frequently unanswered, question in human or ecological risk assessments. This interpretation of relative importance allows determination of the overall effect of a set of variables relative to other variables on an adverse health outcome. There are no underlying assumptions of independence of variables. The tool developed and used here is specifically designed for studying the effects of mixtures of chemicals on a particular function of the human body. Methods: We apply the approach to estimate the contributions of total exposure to six PFAS (perfluorodecanoic acid, perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, 2-(N-methyl-PFOSA) acetate, perfluorononanoic acid, perfluoroundecanoic acid and perfluoroundecanoic acid) to loss of bone mineral density relative to other factors related to risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture, using data from subjects who participated in the US National Health Examination and Nutrition Surveys (NHANES) of 2013–2014. Results: PFAS exposures contribute to bone mineral density changes relative to the following variables: age, weight, height, vitamin D2 and D3, gender, race, sex hormone binding globulin, testosterone, and estradiol. Conclusion: We note significant alterations to bone mineral density among more highly exposed adults and significant differences in effects between men and women.

Description

© 2023 by the authors. cc-by

Keywords

bone mineral density, female, gender, male, PFAS, relative importance analysis, vector space methods

Citation

Kirk, A.B., DeStefano, A., Martin, A., Kirk, K.C., & Martin, C.F.. 2023. A New Interpretation of Relative Importance on an Analysis of Per and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) Exposures on Bone Mineral Density. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054539

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