Reference levels of blood mercury and association with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults
- Reference levels of blood mercury and association with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults
- 엄상용; 최선희; 안수주; 김동경; 김동원; 임지애; 최병선; 신혜정; 윤신원; 윤혜정; 김유미; 홍영섭; 윤용운; 손석준; 김헌; 박경수; 표희수; 김 호; 오세영; 김정선; 이상아; 하미나; 권호장; 박정덕
- Blood Hg; Risk factor; Metabolic syndrome; Cardiovascular diseases; Korean adult
- Issue Date
- International archives of occupational and environmental health
- VOL 87, NO 5, 501-513
Mercury (Hg) is a nonessential and toxic metal that is widely distributed in the environment. This study was performed to estimate the representative blood Hg level, to determine the contributing factors to Hg exposure, and to analyze the association of blood Hg with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults.
Mercury exposure is assessed by total Hg concentration in blood. A total of 2,114 healthy adults who have not been exposed to Hg occupationally were sampled by the multistaged, sex-, and age-stratified probability method. Information was collected regarding the subjects’ demographic characteristics, lifestyles, and past medical history. The participants then underwent physical examination and blood sampling.
The geometric mean concentration of Hg in whole blood was 3.90 μg/L, which was significantly influenced by sex, age, smoking, alcoholic consumption, residence area, and seafood intake after adjustment for confounders. Significant increases in body mass index, waist circumference, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and triglyceride were observed according to the blood Hg levels after adjustment for covariates. Also, Hg exposure was significantly associated with metabolic syndrome and their components such as obesity and increased fasting glucose.
The blood Hg level in Korean adults is higher than that in USA and other Western countries, while it is similar to or lower than that in other Asian countries. The blood Hg level is influenced by sociodemographic factors and individual lifestyles including dietary habits. Furthermore, blood Hg is associated with metabolic syndrome, in which Hg exposure may play a role as a possible risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
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