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Mercury in serum predicts low risk of death and myocardial infarction in Gothenburg women.

Journal article
Authors Ingvar A Bergdahl
Margareta Ahlqwist
Lars Barregård
Cecilia Björkelund
Ann Blomstrand
Staffan Skerfving
Valter Sundh
Maria Wennberg
Lauren Lissner
Published in International archives of occupational and environmental health
Volume 86
Issue 1
Pages 71-7
ISSN 1432-1246
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Odontology
Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Medicine
Pages 71-7
Language en
Keywords Mercury, Fish, Amalgam, Mortality, Cardiovascular, Myocardial infarction, Stroke
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Other Medical Sciences


Abstract Purpose Markers of mercury (Hg) exposure have shown both positive and negative associations with cardiovascular disease (CVD). We assessed the association between serum Hg (S–Hg) and risk of cardiovascular disease in a prospective population-based cohort, with attention to the roles of dental health and Wsh consumption. Methods Total mortality, as well as morbidity and mortality from acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke, was followed up for 32 years in 1,391 women (initially age 38–60), in relation to S–Hg at baseline, using Cox regression models. Potential confounders (age, socioeconomic status, serum lipids, alcohol consumption, dental health, smoking, hypertension, waist-hip ratio, and diabetes) and other covariates (e.g., Wsh consumption) were also considered. Results Hazard ratios (HR) adjusted only for age showed strong inverse associations between baseline S–Hg and total mortality [highest quartile: hazard ratio (HR) 0.76; 95% conWdence interval (CI) 0.59–0.97], incident AMI (HR 0.56; CI 0.34–0.93), and fatal AMI (HR 0.31; CI 0.15–0.66). Adjustment for potential confounding factors, especially dental health, had a strong impact on the risk estimates, and after adjustment, only the reduced risk of fatal AMI remained statistically signiWcant. Conclusions There was a strong inverse association between Hg exposure and CVD. Likely, reasons are confounding with good dental health (also correlated with the number of amalgam Wllings in these age groups) and/or Wsh consumption. The results suggest potential eVects of dental health and/or Wsh consumption on CVD that deserve attention in preventive medicine.

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