Reference levels of blood mercury and association with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults. Mercury (Hg) is a nonessential and toxic metal that is widely distributed in the environment. This study was performed to estimate the representative blood Hg level, to determine the contributing factors to Hg exposure, and to analyze the association of blood Hg with metabolic syndrome in Korean adults. Mercury exposure is assessed by total Hg concentration in blood. A total of 2,114 healthy adults who have not been exposed to Hg occupationally were sampled by the multistaged, sex-, and age-stratified probability method. Information was collected regarding the subjects' demographic characteristics, lifestyles, and past medical history. The participants then underwent physical examination and blood sampling.
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