Epidemiological studies of neurological signs and symptoms and blood pressure in populations near the industrial methylmercury contamination at Minamata, Japan

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Severe methylmercury exposure occurred in Minamata, Japan. Only a limited number of epidemiological studies related to that exposure have been carried out. The evidence that methylmercury is cardiotoxic is very limited, and these studies provide only minimal support for that hypothesis. We therefore analyzed the data both from an investigation in Minamata and neighboring communities in 1971 and an investigation in 1974 in another area simultaneously. We included a total of 3,751 participants. We examined the association of residential area with neurological signs or blood pressure using logistic regression or multiple linear regression models, adjusting for sex and age. We found that the prevalence of neurological signs and symptoms was elevated in the Minamata area (high-exposure), followed by the Goshonoura area (medium-exposure). Moreover, blood pressure was elevated in residents of the Minamata area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Environmental and Occupational Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 15 2016



  • Epidemiological studies
  • hypertension
  • methylmercury poisoning
  • Minamata disease
  • neurological signs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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