DOI: 10.1515/reveh-2023-0021 ISSN:

Exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances and risk of stroke in adults: a meta-analysis

Min Cheol Chang, Seung Min Chung, Sang Gyu Kwak
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health (social science)



Evidence of the adverse metabolic health effects of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is increasing. However, the impact of PFAS on cardiovascular diseases remains controversial. This meta-analysis aimed to analyze the impact of PFAS on the stroke risk.


Databases were searched for studies published up to November 1, 2022, which report the association between stroke and exposure to at least one of four main PFAS (perfluorooctanoic acid [PFOA], perfluorooctanesulfonic acid [PFOS], perfluorononanoic acid [PFNA], and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid [PFHxS]). Data extraction and quality assessment were performed according to the Newcastle-Ottawa scale.

Summary and outlook

Four studies were included in this systematic review. Multivariate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for incident stroke per 1-log unit increment in each serum PFAS were combined in the meta-analysis. The risk of development of stroke was not significantly associated with PFOA, PFOS, or PFNA exposure (PFOA: pooled odds ratio [OR]=1.001, 95 % confidence interval [CI]=0.975–1.028, p=0.934; PFOS: pooled OR=0.994, 95 % CI=0.972–1.017, p=0.601; PFNA: pooled OR=1.016, 95 % CI=0.920–1.123, p=0.752), whereas a moderately lower risk was associated with PFHxS exposure without statistical significance (pooled OR=0.953, 95 % CI=0.908–1.001, p=0.054). PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA exposure showed a neutral association, while PFHxS showed a possible inverse association with the risk of stroke. Therefore, this finding should be interpreted with caution. Further prospective observational studies with PFAS mixture analyses are warranted.

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