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Association of Blood Mercury Level with the Risk of Depression According to Fish Intake Level in the General Korean Population: Findings from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2013

1
Department of Food and Nutrition, Seoul Women’s University, 621, Hwarang-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01797, Korea
2
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, National Cancer Center, 323, Ilsan-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 10408, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equally contributed to the work.
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010189
Received: 14 November 2019 / Revised: 2 January 2020 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 9 January 2020
Mercury is a cumulative neurotoxic agent, exposure to high levels of which may increase the risk of psychiatric symptoms. The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between blood mercury and depression risk in Korean adults. We analyzed the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) with 11,754 participants (male: 5834 female: 5920) aged ≥19 years from 2008 to 2013. The associations of blood mercury with risk of depression were estimated using multivariate logistic regression after adjustment for potential confounders. We found a significantly increased risk of depression in the highest quintile for blood mercury (multivariate OR = 2.05; 95% CI = 1.20–3.48; p trend = 0.03) among female, but not male. A stratification analysis by fish intake showed that the association between depression and blood mercury was strengthened (OR = 4.00; 95% CI = 1.51–10.6; p trend = 0.015) among females with the lowest tertile of fish intake. The results of this study suggest that higher levels of blood mercury, especially in cases of lower fish intake, are positively associated with the risk of depression in Korean women. View Full-Text
Keywords: blood mercury; depression; fish intake; Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey blood mercury; depression; fish intake; Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
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Kim, K.W.; Sreeja, S.R.; Kwon, M.; Yu, Y.L.; Kim, M.K. Association of Blood Mercury Level with the Risk of Depression According to Fish Intake Level in the General Korean Population: Findings from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2013. Nutrients 2020, 12, 189.

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