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J Endocrinol Invest. 2015 Jan;38(1):65-71. doi: 10.1007/s40618-014-0132-3. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

Sex differences in the relationship between blood mercury concentration and metabolic syndrome risk.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Red Cross Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
2
Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 211 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-720, Korea.
3
Yonsei University Graduate School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
4
Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 211 Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 135-720, Korea. ukyjhome@yuhs.ac.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mercury exposure enhances free radical production and reduces activity of anti-oxidant enzymes, resulting in detrimental health effects. Some researchers have reported an association between blood mercury and increased risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS); however, sex differences in the relationship were not fully considered.

AIM:

To examine the sex differences in the relationship between blood mercury concentration and the increased risk of MetS in Korean men and women.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted to examine the relationship between blood mercury concentration and MetS in 2,976 men and 3,074 women over 19 years of age (aged 19-87 years), using data from the 2010-2012 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES-V). Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between blood mercury concentration and the prevalence risk of MetS after adjusting for confounding variables.

RESULTS:

Compared to the lowest quartile of blood mercury concentration, the OR (95 % CI) for MetS of the highest quartile in men was 1.62 (1.15-2.28) after adjusting for age, smoking status, alcohol consumption, regular exercise, and BMI. Similarly, in multiple logistic regression analysis using log2-transformed blood mercury as a continuous variable, the OR (95 % CI) for having MetS with doubling of blood mercury was 1.20 (1.05-1.36) after adjusting for the same co-variables. However, the relationship was not observed in women after adjusting for the same co-variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

Blood mercury concentration was independently associated with an increased risk of MetS in men.

KEYWORDS:

Mercury; Metabolic syndrome; Oxidative stress; Sex differences

PMID:
25053396
DOI:
10.1007/s40618-014-0132-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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