Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome

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Korean J Obes 2013; 22(4): 237-242

Published online December 31, 2013

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

The Relationships Between Blood Mercury Concentration and Body Composition Measures Using 2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Dae-won Kang, Ka-young Lee*

Department of Family Medicine, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine

Received: March 18, 2013; Reviewed : April 8, 2013; Accepted: April 18, 2013

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Background: We evaluated the relationships between blood mercury level and body composition measures in Korean adults using 2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES).
Methods: The sample from 2010 KNHANES data consisted of 1,853 adults (918 males, 935 females) aged 20 years or older. The relationships between blood mercury concentration and body composition measures (including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), total fat mass, total lean mass, percentage of total body fat (PBF), truncal fat mass, truncal lean mass, and percentage of truncal fat) were analyzed using multiple linear regression and logistic regression after adjusting for confounders such as sex, age, education level, physical activity, daily energy intake, fish consumption, smoking, and alcohol use.
Results: In multiple linear regression analysis, blood mercury concentration was significantly and positively associated with body composition measures except for PBF after adjusting for confounders. The odds ratios for obesity (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) and abdominal obesity (WC ≥ 90 cm for men and 85 cm for women) increased with higher sex-specific quartiles of blood mercury concentration (P for linear trend < 0.05).
Conclusion: High blood mercury level may be an indicator of obesity and abdominal obesity.

Keywords: Mercury, Obesity, Body composition


The distribution of characteristics according to gender specific quartiles of blood mercury concentration



The relationships of blood mercury concentration (per 1 ?g/L increase) with body composition measures



The odds ratios (95% CI) of gender specific quartiles of blood mercury concentration for obesity/abdominal obesity*



The odds ratios (95% CI) of gender specific quartiles of blood mercury concentration for hypertension and dyslipidemia*


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