The Association Between Mercury Exposure and Atopic Dermatitis in Early Childhood: A Mothers and Children's Environmental Health Study

Jiyoung Shin, Byung Mi Kim, Mina Ha, Hye Sook Park, Yun Chul Hong, Yangho Kim, Jung Hyun Kwon, Eun Hee Ha

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Atopic dermatitis is a chronic and relapsing inflammatory skin disease. Although mercury has been suggested as a risk factor, the underlying mechanism and the relationship between mercury and atopic dermatitis remains unclear. The objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship between mercury exposure and the presence of atopic dermatitis in early childhood. Methods: This study is part of the prospective Mothers and Children's Environmental Health cohort study. A total of 1,751 pregnant women were enrolled in Mothers and Children's Environmental Health. After delivery, children were followed up. Blood samples were collected and mothers were asked about the presence of atopic dermatitis in their children via a questionnaire at 6, 12, 24, 36, and 60 months of age. Results: After excluding participants who did not meet the inclusion criteria, a total of 1,061 mother-children pairs were included in the analysis. The geometric mean of mercury concentrations in cord blood was 5.1 μg/L. In adjusted models, cord blood mercury exposure (odds ratio [OR] = 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0, 1.2 at 12-24 months) and postnatal mercury exposure (OR = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.0, 1.5 at 24-36 months, OR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.1, 1.8 at 48-60 months) were associated with the presence of atopic dermatitis in children. Conclusions: Postnatal mercury exposure at 24 months of age increases the risk of atopic dermatitis in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S3-S8
JournalEpidemiology
Volume30
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Birth cohort
  • Blood mercury
  • Childhood
  • Heavy metal

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