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Yonsei Med J. 2015 Jul;56(4):944-50. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2015.56.4.944.

Blood Mercury and Insulin Resistance in Nondiabetic Koreans (KNHANES 2008-2010).

Author information

1
Department of Family Practice and Community Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.
2
CHA Antiaging Institute, CHA University, Seoul, Korea.
3
Department of Family Practice and Community Health, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. jchcmc@hanmail.net.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Blood mercury levels are associated with inflammation, and chronic low-grade inflammation is a cause of insulin resistance. This study aimed to investigate the association between serum mercury and insulin resistance.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Subjects from the 2008-2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were selected (n=29235) and the relevant data of 5388 subjects (2643 males and 2745 females) were analyzed cross-sectionally. Homeostasis Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) was compared according to blood mercury quartiles, and the odds ratio (OR) of having the highest quartile of HOMA-IR according to blood mercury quartiles was calculated.

RESULTS:

Blood mercury levels in men and women were 29.4 nmol/L and 20.5 nmol/L, respectively, and fasting blood sugar (FBS), insulin, and HOMA-IR were significantly correlated with blood mercury levels. The correlation was stronger in men than in women. In men, FBS and HOMA-IR showed step-wise increases as the quartiles of blood mercury increased; only HOMA-IR differed significantly in the third and fourth blood mercury quartiles, compared to the first quartile. In women, however, both FBS and HOMA-IR differed significantly in the third and fourth blood mercury quartiles, compared to the first quartile. Among men, the OR of being in the highest HOMA-IR quartile was greatest for the highest blood mercury quartile (OR=1.720, 95% CI; 1.172-2.526), compared with the lowest quartile.

CONCLUSION:

In this large population-based study, blood mercury levels were weakly correlated with HOMA-IR and may be a risk factor for insulin resistance in nondiabetic Koreans.

KEYWORDS:

Korean; Mercury; environment; inflammation; insulin resistance

PMID:
26069115
PMCID:
PMC4479861
DOI:
10.3349/ymj.2015.56.4.944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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