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.

  • Source
    • "While our isolated finding for mercury may be due to chance or may result from residual confounding, one other study that evaluated the role of total blood mercury on BMD in Korean women found that mercury (mean level 4.5 μg/l) was associated with decreased osteoporosis risk (Cho et al., 2011). These results could be driven by the fact that the primary source of mercury in Korea was fish consumption (Jo et al., 2010), which is also true among individuals in the US (Mahaffey et al., 2009). Fish consumption provides essential n-3 and n-6 fatty acids (Philibert et al., 2006), which are protective against osteoporosis (Farina et al., 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exposure to metals, specifically cadmium, lead, and mercury, is widespread and is associated with reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in older populations, but the associations among premenopausal women are unclear. Therefore, we evaluated the relationship between these metals in blood and BMD (whole body, total hip, lumbar spine, and non-dominant wrist) quantified by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in 248 premenopausal women, aged 18-44. Participants were of normal body mass index (mean BMI 24.1), young (mean age 27.4), 60% were white, 20% non-Hispanic black, 15% Asian, and 6% other race group, and were from the Buffalo, New York region. The median (interquartile range) level of cadmium was 0.30μg/l (0.19-0.43), of lead was 0.86μg/dl (0.68-1.20), and of mercury was 1.10μg/l (0.58-2.00). BMD was treated both as a continuous variable in linear regression and dichotomized at the 10th percentile for logistic regression analyses. Mercury was associated with reduced odds of decreased lumbar spine BMD (0.66, 95% confidence interval: 0.44, 0.99), but overall, metals at environmentally relevant levels of exposure were not associated with reduced BMD in this population of healthy, reproductive-aged women. Further research is needed to determine if the blood levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury in this population are sufficiently low that there is no substantive impact on bone, or if effects on bone can be expected only at older ages.
    Environmental Research 11/2012; 120. DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2012.06.001 · 3.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the relationship between the blood mercury concentration and cardiovascular risk factors in elderly Korean individuals living in coastal areas. The sample consisted of 477 adults (164 males, 313 females) aged 40 to 65 years who visited a Busan health promotion center from June to September in 2009. The relationship between blood mercury concentration and cardiovascular risk factors including metabolic syndrome, cholesterol profiles, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), was investigated. Variables related to blood mercury concentration were further evaluated using multiple regression analysis. The blood mercury concentration of the study population was 7.99 (range, 7.60 to 8.40) μg/L. In males, the blood mercury concentration was 9.74 (8.92 to 10.63) μg/L, which was significantly higher than that in females (7.21, [6.80 to 7.64] μg/L). The blood mercury concentration of the study population was related to several cardiovascular risk factors including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (p=0.044), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (p=0.034), BMI (p=0.006), waist circumference (p=0.031), and WHR (p<0.001). In males, the blood mercury concentration was significantly correlated with WHR in the multiple regression analysis. In males, the blood mercury concentration was related to waist-to-hip ratio, which is a central obesity index and cardiovascular risk factor. Our finding suggests that cardiovascular disease risk in males was increased by mercury exposure via an obesity-related mechanism.
    09/2011; 44(5):218-25. DOI:10.3961/jpmph.2011.44.5.218
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Methylmercury is an organic form of mercury that is highly toxic to humans. Here, we present and establish a novel method to detect methylmercury concentrations in the blood of Koreans. Methylmercury concentration was analyzed with an automated methylmercury analytic system (MERX, Brooks Rand Co., USA) using cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrophotometry (CVAFS). A variety of biological materials were digested in methanolic potassium hydroxide solution. The analysis method was validated by examination of certified reference material (955c, National Institute of Standard and Technology, USA). We randomly selected 30 Korean adults (age 20 yr or older) to analyze total blood mercury and methylmercury concentrations. The detection limit and methylmercury recovery rate using this method were 0.1 pg/L and, 99.19% (range: 89.33-104.89%), respectively. The mean blood concentration of methylmercury was 4.54±2.15 µg/L (N=30). The mean proportion of methylmercury to the total mercury concentration was 78.27% (range: 41.37-98.80%). This study is the first report to analyze blood methylmercury concentration using CVAFS in Korea. We expect that this method will contribute to the evaluation of mercury exposure and the assessment of the toxicological impact of mercury in future studies.
    Annals of Laboratory Medicine 01/2012; 32(1):31-7. DOI:10.3343/alm.2012.32.1.31 · 1.48 Impact Factor
Show more