UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Is the cholesterol-perfluoroalkyl substance association confounded by dietary fiber intake? : a Bayesian analysis of NHANES data with adjustment for measurement error in fiber intake Linakis, Matthew W.; Gustafson, Paul, 1968-; Allen, Bruce C.; Bachand, Annette M.; Van Landingham, Cynthia; Keast, Debra R.; Longnecker, Matthew P.


Background: Serum concentrations of total cholesterol and related lipid measures have been associated with serum concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in humans, even among those with only background-level exposure to PFAS. Fiber is known to decrease serum cholesterol and a recent report based on National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that PFAS and fiber are inversely associated. We hypothesized that confounding by dietary fiber may account for some of the association between cholesterol and PFAS. Methods: We implemented a Bayesian correction for measurement error in estimated intake of dietary fiber to evaluate whether fiber confounds the cholesterol-PFAS association. The NHANES measure of diet, two 24-h recalls, allowed calculation of an estimate of the “true” long-term fiber intake for each subject. We fit models to the NHANES data on serum cholesterol and serum concentration of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and two other PFAS for 7,242 participants in NHANES. Results: The Bayesian model, after adjustment for soluble fiber intake, suggested a decrease in the size of the coefficient for PFOA by 6.4% compared with the fiber-unadjusted model. Conclusions: The results indicated that the association of serum cholesterol with PFAS was not substantially confounded by fiber intake.

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