Blood mercury concentration and related factors in an urban coastal area in Korea.

Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Korea.
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 09/2010; 43(5):377-86. DOI: 10.3961/jpmph.2010.43.5.377
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was carried out for the purpose of evaluating the blood mercury concentration of the residents of Busan, Korea, as well as the relationship between the mercury concentration and the pattern of fish consumption along with other epidemiological factors.
Two hundred ninety-three subjects (147 men and 146 women), who were aged 40 years or more, were recruited into this study between June and October 2009. The mean age of the subjects was 54.3 years (with a range of 40-70 years). Mercury concentrations in blood samples were measured using a gold-amalgam collection method.
The geometric mean concentration of mercury in the total subjects was 8.63 µg/L [range: 1.48~45.71 µg/L]. The blood mercury concentration of the men (9.55 µg/L) was significantly higher than that of the women (7.76 µg/L). The blood mercury concentration of those who eat fish more than 4 times per week was higher than others, and was statistically significant (male p = 0.0019, female p = 0.0002). According to the multiple analysis, the blood mercury concentration was significantly affected by the consumed fish but other epidemiological factors were not related.
It was found that the subjects who have consumed a large amount of fish may have high blood mercury concentration. It appears that fish consumption can influence blood mercury concentration. Therefore, guidelines for fish consumption that will decrease blood mercury concentration might be necessary in Korea.

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