Mercury Materno-fetal Burden and Its Nutritional Impact


  • Enas R. Abdel Hameed Child Health Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Center, Cairo
  • Lobna S. Sherif Child Health Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Center, Cairo
  • Ola M. Abdel Samie Child Health Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Center, Cairo
  • Hanaa H. Ahmed Hormones Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Center, Cairo
  • Amira Ahmed El-Galaa Teaching Hospital, Cairo
  • Hala Atta El-Galaa Teaching Hospital, Cairo
  • Hisham Waheed Child Health Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Center, Cairo
  • Reham F. Fahmy Child Health Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Center, Cairo



mercury, pregnancy, cord blood, nutrition


BACKGROUND: Mercury exists worldwide in food, water and air throwing its health hazards on all body systems.

AIM: To show the influence of the presence of mercury in pregnant mothers’ blood on its level in the umbilical cord blood; and to display the relationship between the different foodstuff on the mercury levels in pregnant mothers' and umbilical cord blood.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted on randomly chosen 113 pregnant mothers at the time of labour and on their newborns. Full history, sociodemographic data and food frequency questionnaire for dietary assessment were recorded. The Maternal and neonatal anthropometric measurements together with the Apgar scoring were also measured. Serum mercury levels in both mothers' and umbilical cord blood were measured using the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS).

RESULTS: A high percentage of mothers (82.3%) were exposed to passive smoking. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between the maternal and fetal umbilical cord blood mercury levels (p = 0.002). There was an insignificant negative correlation between the maternal blood and fetal umbilical cord blood mercury levels on one side and each of the different foodstuff on the other side (fish, vegetables, fruits and proteins, for example, meat and legumes). An insignificant positive correlation was found between dairy products and of the maternal blood and umbilical cord blood mercury levels.

CONCLUSION: The fetal umbilical cord blood mercury levels correlate positively with the maternal blood mercury. The different foodstuff can influence the maternal and umbilical cord blood mercury levels whether by increase or decrease. Strict measures should be taken to decrease environmental mercury contamination with attention to pregnant mothers.


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How to Cite

Abdel Hameed ER, Sherif LS, Abdel Samie OM, Ahmed HH, Ahmed A, Atta H, Waheed H, Fahmy RF. Mercury Materno-fetal Burden and Its Nutritional Impact. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2018 Sep. 24 [cited 2024 May 26];6(9):1652-8. Available from:



B - Clinical Sciences

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