Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis risk, family income, and fish consumption estimates of mercury and omega-3 pufas in the United States

Hannah I. Hoffman, Walter G. Bradley, Celia Y. Chen, Erik P. Pioro, Elijah W. Stommel, Angeline S. Andrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Most amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases are considered sporadic, without a known genetic basis, and lifestyle factors are suspected to play an etiologic role. We previously observed increased risk of ALS associated with high nail mercury levels as an exposure biomarker and thus hypothesized that mercury exposure via fish consumption patterns increases ALS risk. Lifestyle surveys were obtained from ALS patients (n = 165) and n = 330 age-and sex-matched controls without ALS enrolled in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Ohio, USA. We estimated their annual intake of mercury and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) via self-reported seafood consumption habits, including species and frequency. In our multivariable model, family income showed a significant positive association with ALS risk (p = 0.0003, adjusted for age, sex, family history, education, and race). Neither the estimated annual mercury nor omega-3 PUFA intakes via seafood were associated with ALS risk. ALS incidence is associated with socioeconomic status; however, consistent with a prior international study, this relationship is not linked to mercury intake estimated via fish or seafood consumption patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4528
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2021

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Fish
  • Mercury
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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