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Do Elevated Mercury Levels in the Blood Increase Skin Cancer Risk?

Higher levels of mercury in the blood were linked with a higher prevalence of non-melanoma skin cancer, the most common human malignancy, in a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 12:01 am EST

Higher levels of mercury in the blood were linked with a higher prevalence of non-melanoma skin cancer, the most common human malignancy, in a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

For the study, researchers analyzed 2003–2016 data on 29,413 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The team examined blood levels of different forms of mercury: total mercury, inorganic mercury, and methyl mercury. Compared with individuals with low total mercury, those with high total mercury had nearly double the odds of being diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer. Similarly, participants with high methyl mercury had a 1.7-times greater odds of non-melanoma skin cancer compared with those with low methyl mercury. Inorganic mercury levels were non-significantly but positively associated with non-melanoma skin cancer.

Most individuals in the United States are exposed to mercury through consumption of contaminated fish and shellfish.

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.18797

About Journal 

British Journal of Dermatology, BJD, is a top-ranked international dermatology journal, publishing the highest-quality research to advance the understanding and management of skin disease to improve patient outcomes. The BJD has distinct sections for clinical trials, guidelines, translational research, epidemiology and qualitative and outcomes research.

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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Penny Smith +44 (0) 1243 770448 (UK)
newsroom@wiley.com

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