The objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship of IQ in children with maternal blood mercury concentration during late pregnancy. The present study is a component of the Mothers and Children's Environmental Health (MOCEH) study, a multicenter birth cohort project in Korea that began in 2006. The study cohort consisted of 553 children whose mothers underwent testing for blood mercury during late pregnancy. The children were given the Korean language version of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, revised edition (WPPSI-R) at 60 months of age. Multivariate linear regression analysis, with adjustment for covariates, was used to assess the relationship between verbal, performance, and total IQ in children and blood mercury concentration of mothers during late pregnancy. The results of multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that a doubling of blood mercury was associated with the decrease in verbal and total IQ by 2.482 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.749-4.214) and 2.402 (95% CI, 0.526- 4.279), respectively, after adjustment. This inverse association remained after further adjustment for blood lead concentration. Fish intake is an effect modifier of child IQ. In conclusion, high maternal blood mercury level is associated with low verbal IQ in children.
- Blood lead
- Blood mercury