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Biometals. 2002 Jun;15(2):189-95.

Relationship between mercury concentration in blood, cognitive performance, and blood pressure, in an elderly urban population.

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  • 1Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Concentration of mercury (Hg) in whole blood in an elderly urban population with a mean age of 87 years was studied in relation to cognitive function, arterial blood pressure (arterial BP), age, gender, body mass index (BMI) and smoking habits. This population-based study consisted of 106 subjects both males and females. Clinical assessment of the subjects included medical and social history, physical and neurologic examination and assessment of cognitive functions with Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Information on use of all potentially antihypertensive drugs was collected. Whole blood from 106 subjects were collected and analysed for mercury by Cold Vapour Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (Milton Ray ASS-CV) with Seronorm Trace Element as matrix matched quality control. Males and females did not differ in blood-mercury (B-Hg) concentrations or in any of the other studied variables. B-Hg concentrations did not differ between smokers and non-smokers. Females were treated more often than males with antihypertensive drugs. There was no relation found between B-Hg concentration and cognitive function, arterial BP, age, gender or BMI. In conclusion, no relations were found between B-Hg concentrations and the studied variables.

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