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Environmental mercury exposure, semen quality and reproductive hormones in Greenlandic Inuit and European men: a cross-sectional study

Mocevic, Emina ; Specht, Ina O. ; Marott, Jacob L. ; Giwercman, Aleksander LU ; Jönsson, Bo A LU ; Toft, Gunnar ; Lundh, Thomas LU and Bonde, Jens Peter (2013) In Asian Journal of Andrology 15(1). p.97-104
Abstract
Several animal studies indicate that mercury is a male reproductive toxicant, but human studies are few and contradictory. We examined semen characteristics and serum levels of reproductive hormones in relation to environmental exposure to mercury. Blood and semen samples were collected from 529 male partners of pregnant women living in Greenland, Poland and Ukraine between May 2002 and February 2004. The median concentration of the total content of mercury in whole blood was 9.2 ng ml(-1) in Greenland (0.2-385.8 ng ml(-1)), 1.0 ng ml(-1) in Poland (0.2-6.4 ng ml(-1)) and 1.0 ng ml(-1) in Ukraine (0.2-4.9 ng ml(-1)). We found a significantly positive association between the blood levels of mercury and serum concentration of inhibin B in... (More)
Several animal studies indicate that mercury is a male reproductive toxicant, but human studies are few and contradictory. We examined semen characteristics and serum levels of reproductive hormones in relation to environmental exposure to mercury. Blood and semen samples were collected from 529 male partners of pregnant women living in Greenland, Poland and Ukraine between May 2002 and February 2004. The median concentration of the total content of mercury in whole blood was 9.2 ng ml(-1) in Greenland (0.2-385.8 ng ml(-1)), 1.0 ng ml(-1) in Poland (0.2-6.4 ng ml(-1)) and 1.0 ng ml(-1) in Ukraine (0.2-4.9 ng ml(-1)). We found a significantly positive association between the blood levels of mercury and serum concentration of inhibin B in men from Greenland (beta=0.074, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.021 to 0.126) and in an analysis including men from all three regions (beta=0.067, 95% CI=0.024 to 0.110). The association may be due to beneficial effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are contained in seafood and fish. No significant association (P>0.05) was found between blood concentrations of mercury and any of the other measured semen characteristics (semen volume, total sperm count, sperm concentration, morphology and motility) and reproductive hormones (free androgen index (FAI), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and LHxtestosterone) in any region. In conclusion, the findings do not provide evidence that environmental mercury exposure in Greenlandic and European men with median whole blood concentration up to 10 ng ml(-1) has adverse effects on biomarkers of male reproductive health. Asian Journal of Andrology (2013) 15, 97-104; doi:10.1038/aja.2012.121; published online 10 December 2012 (Less)
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author
; ; ; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
blood mercury concentration, environmental mercury exposure, male, fertility, reproduction, reproductive hormones, semen characteristics, semen quality
in
Asian Journal of Andrology
volume
15
issue
1
pages
97 - 104
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • wos:000313209500021
  • scopus:84872189090
  • pmid:23223027
ISSN
1008-682X
DOI
10.1038/aja.2012.121
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c1431809-8252-4d63-8134-8f4b5edb6286 (old id 3481002)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 10:11:02
date last changed
2020-06-10 01:23:05
@article{c1431809-8252-4d63-8134-8f4b5edb6286,
  abstract     = {Several animal studies indicate that mercury is a male reproductive toxicant, but human studies are few and contradictory. We examined semen characteristics and serum levels of reproductive hormones in relation to environmental exposure to mercury. Blood and semen samples were collected from 529 male partners of pregnant women living in Greenland, Poland and Ukraine between May 2002 and February 2004. The median concentration of the total content of mercury in whole blood was 9.2 ng ml(-1) in Greenland (0.2-385.8 ng ml(-1)), 1.0 ng ml(-1) in Poland (0.2-6.4 ng ml(-1)) and 1.0 ng ml(-1) in Ukraine (0.2-4.9 ng ml(-1)). We found a significantly positive association between the blood levels of mercury and serum concentration of inhibin B in men from Greenland (beta=0.074, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.021 to 0.126) and in an analysis including men from all three regions (beta=0.067, 95% CI=0.024 to 0.110). The association may be due to beneficial effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are contained in seafood and fish. No significant association (P>0.05) was found between blood concentrations of mercury and any of the other measured semen characteristics (semen volume, total sperm count, sperm concentration, morphology and motility) and reproductive hormones (free androgen index (FAI), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone and LHxtestosterone) in any region. In conclusion, the findings do not provide evidence that environmental mercury exposure in Greenlandic and European men with median whole blood concentration up to 10 ng ml(-1) has adverse effects on biomarkers of male reproductive health. Asian Journal of Andrology (2013) 15, 97-104; doi:10.1038/aja.2012.121; published online 10 December 2012},
  author       = {Mocevic, Emina and Specht, Ina O. and Marott, Jacob L. and Giwercman, Aleksander and Jönsson, Bo A and Toft, Gunnar and Lundh, Thomas and Bonde, Jens Peter},
  issn         = {1008-682X},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {97--104},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Asian Journal of Andrology},
  title        = {Environmental mercury exposure, semen quality and reproductive hormones in Greenlandic Inuit and European men: a cross-sectional study},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/aja.2012.121},
  doi          = {10.1038/aja.2012.121},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2013},
}