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Associations Between Fish Consumption and Contaminant Biomarkers With Cardiovascular Conditions Among Older Male Anglers in Wisconsin

Raymond, Michelle R. MS; Christensen, Krista Y. PhD; Thompson, Brooke A. MPH; Anderson, Henry A. MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2016 - Volume 58 - Issue 7 - p 676–682
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000757
Original Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine fish consumption habits and contaminant exposures associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes among older male anglers.

Methods: One hundred fifty-four men aged 50 years and older living and fishing in Wisconsin completed a detailed survey and provided hair and blood samples. Associations between fish consumption and body burdens of several contaminants, with self-reported cardiovascular outcomes, were evaluated.

Results: Consuming fish species with higher methyl mercury content was positively associated with odds of angina, coronary heart disease (CHD), or heart attack, while consuming fattier species was negatively associated with high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Total mercury in blood was associated with 27% higher odds of heart attack, and certain classes of polychlorinated biphenyls were positively associated with CHD.

Conclusion: Total mercury exposures may affect cardiovascular outcomes. Educational interventions promoting consumption of fish low in methyl mercury among older male anglers are needed.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Madison.

Address correspondence to: Michelle R. Raymond, MS, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health, 1 West Wilson Street, Room 150, Madison, WI 53703 (

This study was funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office under Assistance no. GL-00E00452-0.

This article has not been subjected to the Agency's required peer and policy review and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine