The primary objective of this study was to estimate the association between blood mercury levels and overweight in Korean adults. We analyzed cross-sectional data from 9228 participants (4283 men and 4945 women) who completed the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), 2007–2013. The population was divided into two groups according to the body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC). Blood mercury levels were analyzed using a gold amalgam method with a DMA-80 instrument, categorized into quartiles, and stratified by sex. After adjusting for all covariates, blood mercury was significantly associated with overweight in all subjects. According to the BMI criteria, the adjusted odds ratio of being in the highest blood mercury quartile was 1.75 (95 % confidence interval [CI], 1.53–2.01) overall, 2.09 (95 % CI, 1.71–2.55) in men, and 1.58 (95 % CI, 1.32–1.89) in women. According to the WC criteria, the adjusted odds ratio of being in the highest blood mercury quartile was 1.85 (95 % CI, 1.49–2.30) in men and 1.96 (95 % CI, 1.62–2.36) in women compared to the lowest quartile. Additionally, a trend in overweight across increasing blood mercury levels was observed by the p for trend test in the multiple diagnostic criteria.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical
- Inorganic Chemistry