Background: Studies have found mercury to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), howeve ... Read more
Background: Studies have found mercury to be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), however, primarily in populations with low exposure. The highest levels, and variations in the levels, of whole blood mercury (WBM) worldwide have been found in Greenland. We prospectively assessed the association between WBM and the risk of developing CVD in the Greenlandic population.
Methods: We assessed the effects of WBM levels on incident CVD among 3083 Greenlandic Inuit, participating in a population-based cohort study conducted from 2005 to 2010. WBM was measured at baseline. Participants were followed in the National Patient Registries for Denmark and Greenland and in the causes of death register for CVD events from inclusion in the study until CVD event, emigration, death or end of follow-up (30/9–2013). Using Cox regression analyses, we calculated the incidence rates and the hazard ratio of CVD events according to WBM levels. Potential interactions with sex were also investigated.
Results: The highest levels of WBM were found in men, who had a significantly higher median level (19 μg/L (IQR:1–44)), compared with women (15 μg/L (IQR: 1–32), (p < 0.001)). The crude hazard ratio (HR) for incident CVD was 1.00 (95% CI 1.00–1.00) for 5 µg/l increase in WBM. After adjusting for several potential confounders, there was still no association between WBM and incident CVD (HR 0.99; 95%CI:0.99–1.00). We found no interactions with sex.
Conclusions: In a population with high levels of WBM, we found no association between WBM and the risk of developing CVD in Greenland.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In Greenland, valid ... Read more
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In Greenland, valid estimates of prevalence and incidence of CVD do not exist and can only be calculated if diagnoses of CVD in the Greenlandic Hospital Discharge Register (GHDR) are correct. Diagnoses of CVD in GHDR have not previously been validated specifically. The objective of the study was to validate diagnoses of CVD in GHDR. The study was conducted as a validation study with primary investigator comparing information in GHDR with information in medical records. Diagnoses in GHDR were considered correct and thus valid if they matched the diagnoses or the medical information in the medical records. A total of 432 online accessible medical records with a cardiovascular diagnosis according to GHDR from Queen Ingrid’s Hospital from 2001 to 2013 (n=291) and from local health care centres from 2007 to 2013 (n=141) were reviewed. Ninety-nine and ninety-two percent of discharge diagnosis in GHDR from Queen Ingrid’s Hospital and local health care centres were correct in comparison with diagnoses in the medical record indicating valid registration practice. The correctness of cardiovascular diagnoses in GHDR was considered high in terms of acceptable agreement between medical records and diagnoses in GHDR. Cardiovascular diagnoses are valid for epidemiological use.