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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2005;48(11):2527-2534.
Published online November 1, 2005.
The effect of fish consumption on blood mercury level in pregnant women.
Euy Hyuk Kim, In Kyu Kim, Ja Young Kwon, Ja Seong Koo, Han Sung Hwang, Sei Kwang Kim, Yong Won Park, Jae Hoon Noh, Dong Han Lee
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. ob@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
We studied relationship between average amount of fish consumption and blood mercury level in pregnant women, in addition we would like to know the blood mercury level in pregnant women in Korea and we compared the initial blood mercury level in pregnant women and followed up how much blood mercury level decreased after counseling and prenatal education. METHODS: Pregnant women who received prenatal care at the Yonsei medical center from March 2004 to September 2004, were targeted. They were divided into two groups. One was the study group who was educated to restrict the intake of fish, the other was the control group who was not given any prenatal education. We measured their blood mercury level and followed up until 2nd and 3rd trimester, to find out the differences between two groups. RESULTS: Out of the 63 pregnant women who participated in our study, we followed up 11 pregnant women in the study group and 13 pregnant women of control group. The initial mean blood mercury level of both groups was 2.94 (0.14-10.75) microgram/L. Blood mercury level in fish eating group of more than 4 times a month was higher than the others, which was statistically significant (p=0.02). Followed up blood mercury levels were increased in both groups, but there was not statistically significant between two groups. CONCLUSION: Pregnant women who consume a large amount of fish may have high blood mercury level. As fish intake seems to influence blood mercury level, to lower their blood mercury level, periconceptional education to decrease fish consumption might be necessary.
Key Words: Mercury, Blood, Fishes, Pregnancy

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