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 uri icon


  • 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 ( = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.15-0.53) and adjusted models ( = 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.

published proceedings

  • Int J Environ Res Public Health

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Zilversmit, L., Wickliffe, J., Shankar, A., Taylor, R. J., & Harville, E. W.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Zilversmit, Leah||Wickliffe, Jeffrey||Shankar, Arti||Taylor, Robert J||Harville, Emily W

publication date

  • January 2017