Correlations of biomarkers and self-reported seafood consumption among pregnant and non-pregnant women in southeastern Louisiana after the gulf oil spill: The GROWH study

Academic Article


  • Seafood contains health-promoting fatty acids, but is often contaminated with mercury (Hg), complicating recommendations and choices around fish consumption during pregnancy. Self-reported diet may be subject to inaccuracy and this inaccuracy could differ according to pregnancy status. We investigated correlations between self-reported seafood consumption and blood levels of Hg and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in women affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated comparing log blood Hg and n-3 PUFAs to seafood consumption, then stratified by pregnancy status. Crude and adjusted linear regression models were constructed using biomarkers of Hg and n-3 PUFA and seafood consumption, adjusting for age and pregnancy status. Weak but significant correlations were found between log Hg levels and intake of Hg-containing seafood (r = 0.15) and were slightly stronger among pregnant women (r = 0.22, vs. r = 0.10). Biomarkers for n-3 PUFAs were significantly correlated with seafood consumption (r = 0.12). Hg-containing seafood consumption was associated with increased blood level Hg in the highest quartile in both unadjusted (β = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.15–0.53) and adjusted models (β = 0.28, 95% CI: 0.08–0.48). Self-reported seafood consumption was correlated with biomarkers of both n-3 PUFA and Hg, but this association was different when stratified by pregnancy status. Pregnant women may have better recall of Hg-containing seafood compared to nonpregnant women.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zilversmit L; Wickliffe J; Shankar A; Taylor RJ; Harville EW
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 7