Blood mercury levels and neurobehavioral function

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context: Due to its cardiovascular benefits, fish consumption is widely encouraged among older Americans. However, this fast-growing population is at increased risk of cognitive impairment and may be particularly sensitive to methylmercury, a neurotoxicant found in fish. Objective: To describe associations of blood mercury levels with neurobehavioral test scores in an urban adult population. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional analysis to determine the effect of mercury levels on neurobehavior in 474 randomly selected participants in the Baltimore Memory Study, a longitudinal study of cognitive decline involving 1140 Baltimore residents aged 50 to 70 years. We measured total mercury in whole blood samples and used multiple linear regression to examine its associations with neurobehavioral test scores. First-visit data were obtained in 2001-2002. Main Outcome Measures: Twenty scores from 12 neurobehavioral tests. Results: The median blood mercury level was 2.1 μg/L (range, 0-16 μg/L). After adjustment for covariates, increasing blood mercury was associated with worse performance on Rey complex figure delayed recall, a test of visual memory (β, -0.224; 95% confidence interval, -0.402 to -0.047). However, increasing blood mercury levels were associated with better performance on finger tapping, a test of manual dexterity (β for dominant hand, 0.351; 95% confidence interval, 0.017-0.686). Conclusion: Overall, the data do not provide strong evidence that blood mercury levels are associated with worse neurobehavioral performance in this population of older urban adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1875-1882
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Volume293
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2005

Fingerprint

Mercury
Baltimore
Urban Population
Fishes
Confidence Intervals
Fingers
Longitudinal Studies
Linear Models
Hand
Cross-Sectional Studies
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Blood mercury levels and neurobehavioral function. / Latshaw, Megan; Bressler, Joseph; Parsons, Patrick; Bolla, Karen I; Glass, Thomas; Schwartz, Brian S.

In: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 293, No. 15, 20.04.2005, p. 1875-1882.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{94b73233e841492584aab5de399f0f00,
title = "Blood mercury levels and neurobehavioral function",
abstract = "Context: Due to its cardiovascular benefits, fish consumption is widely encouraged among older Americans. However, this fast-growing population is at increased risk of cognitive impairment and may be particularly sensitive to methylmercury, a neurotoxicant found in fish. Objective: To describe associations of blood mercury levels with neurobehavioral test scores in an urban adult population. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional analysis to determine the effect of mercury levels on neurobehavior in 474 randomly selected participants in the Baltimore Memory Study, a longitudinal study of cognitive decline involving 1140 Baltimore residents aged 50 to 70 years. We measured total mercury in whole blood samples and used multiple linear regression to examine its associations with neurobehavioral test scores. First-visit data were obtained in 2001-2002. Main Outcome Measures: Twenty scores from 12 neurobehavioral tests. Results: The median blood mercury level was 2.1 μg/L (range, 0-16 μg/L). After adjustment for covariates, increasing blood mercury was associated with worse performance on Rey complex figure delayed recall, a test of visual memory (β, -0.224; 95{\%} confidence interval, -0.402 to -0.047). However, increasing blood mercury levels were associated with better performance on finger tapping, a test of manual dexterity (β for dominant hand, 0.351; 95{\%} confidence interval, 0.017-0.686). Conclusion: Overall, the data do not provide strong evidence that blood mercury levels are associated with worse neurobehavioral performance in this population of older urban adults.",
author = "Megan Latshaw and Joseph Bressler and Patrick Parsons and Bolla, {Karen I} and Thomas Glass and Schwartz, {Brian S}",
year = "2005",
month = "4",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1001/jama.293.15.1875",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "293",
pages = "1875--1882",
journal = "JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association",
issn = "0098-7484",
publisher = "American Medical Association",
number = "15",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Blood mercury levels and neurobehavioral function

AU - Latshaw, Megan

AU - Bressler, Joseph

AU - Parsons, Patrick

AU - Bolla, Karen I

AU - Glass, Thomas

AU - Schwartz, Brian S

PY - 2005/4/20

Y1 - 2005/4/20

N2 - Context: Due to its cardiovascular benefits, fish consumption is widely encouraged among older Americans. However, this fast-growing population is at increased risk of cognitive impairment and may be particularly sensitive to methylmercury, a neurotoxicant found in fish. Objective: To describe associations of blood mercury levels with neurobehavioral test scores in an urban adult population. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional analysis to determine the effect of mercury levels on neurobehavior in 474 randomly selected participants in the Baltimore Memory Study, a longitudinal study of cognitive decline involving 1140 Baltimore residents aged 50 to 70 years. We measured total mercury in whole blood samples and used multiple linear regression to examine its associations with neurobehavioral test scores. First-visit data were obtained in 2001-2002. Main Outcome Measures: Twenty scores from 12 neurobehavioral tests. Results: The median blood mercury level was 2.1 μg/L (range, 0-16 μg/L). After adjustment for covariates, increasing blood mercury was associated with worse performance on Rey complex figure delayed recall, a test of visual memory (β, -0.224; 95% confidence interval, -0.402 to -0.047). However, increasing blood mercury levels were associated with better performance on finger tapping, a test of manual dexterity (β for dominant hand, 0.351; 95% confidence interval, 0.017-0.686). Conclusion: Overall, the data do not provide strong evidence that blood mercury levels are associated with worse neurobehavioral performance in this population of older urban adults.

AB - Context: Due to its cardiovascular benefits, fish consumption is widely encouraged among older Americans. However, this fast-growing population is at increased risk of cognitive impairment and may be particularly sensitive to methylmercury, a neurotoxicant found in fish. Objective: To describe associations of blood mercury levels with neurobehavioral test scores in an urban adult population. Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional analysis to determine the effect of mercury levels on neurobehavior in 474 randomly selected participants in the Baltimore Memory Study, a longitudinal study of cognitive decline involving 1140 Baltimore residents aged 50 to 70 years. We measured total mercury in whole blood samples and used multiple linear regression to examine its associations with neurobehavioral test scores. First-visit data were obtained in 2001-2002. Main Outcome Measures: Twenty scores from 12 neurobehavioral tests. Results: The median blood mercury level was 2.1 μg/L (range, 0-16 μg/L). After adjustment for covariates, increasing blood mercury was associated with worse performance on Rey complex figure delayed recall, a test of visual memory (β, -0.224; 95% confidence interval, -0.402 to -0.047). However, increasing blood mercury levels were associated with better performance on finger tapping, a test of manual dexterity (β for dominant hand, 0.351; 95% confidence interval, 0.017-0.686). Conclusion: Overall, the data do not provide strong evidence that blood mercury levels are associated with worse neurobehavioral performance in this population of older urban adults.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=17144395479&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=17144395479&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1001/jama.293.15.1875

DO - 10.1001/jama.293.15.1875

M3 - Article

C2 - 15840862

AN - SCOPUS:17144395479

VL - 293

SP - 1875

EP - 1882

JO - JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association

JF - JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association

SN - 0098-7484

IS - 15

ER -