Sustained Outrage

Latest WVU study ties C8 to chronic kidney disease

There’s another significant new study out from the folks at West Virginia University’s C8 Health Project, who are churning out tons of important research about the potential toxic effects of the DuPont chemical C8.

This one is called Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals and Chronic Kidney Disease in U.S. Adults (subscription required) and was published last week in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The study examined data for more than 4,500 adults from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, or NHANES, and found associations between higher levels of C8 and PFOS exposure and chronic kidney disease, or CKD.

These associations were independent of possible other factors, such as age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol levels.  One caution is that the NHANES data, because it measures C8 levels in blood and CKD at the same time, it cannot tell us which came first — the chemical exposure or the kidney disease.

Still, author Anoop Shankar and colleagues report:

Our results contribute to the emerging data on the health effects of PFCs, suggesting for the first time that PFOA and PFOS are potentially related to CKD.

… Our findings are of public health importance because serum PFCs appear to be positively related to kidney disease even at relatively low background exposure levels in the U.S. general population.

They continued:

… If our findings are replicated in future prospective studies, the population attributable risk of CKD by PFC exposure would be high. This is unlike findings form certain other specific populations that were exposed to very high serum PFC levels through local environmental contamination. Also, because PFCs are manmade, it may be possible to remove this excess exposure risk.

This new WVU study comes on the heels of the C8 Science Panel’s report outlining associations between chemical exposure and kidney cancer deaths in DuPont workers (see here and here).  So far, though, I don’t believe that we have seen any results from the Science Panel on chronic kidney disease among the non-worker population in the Mid-Ohio Valley.