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Marques R.C.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Dorea J.G.,University of Brasilia | Leao R.S.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Dos Santos V.G.,Prefeitura Municipal de Porto Velho | And 5 more authors.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

Human occupation of the Amazon region has recently increased, bringing deforestation for agriculture and open-cast mining, activities that cause environmental degradation and pollution. Families of new settlers in mining areas might have a diet less dependent on abundant fish and their children might also be impacted by exposures to mining environments. Therefore, there is compounded interest in assessing young children's nutritional status and neurobehavioral development with regard to family fish consumption. Anthropometric (z-scores, WHO standards) and neurologic [Gesell developmental scores (GDS)] development in 688 preschool children (1-59 months of age) was studied. Overall, the prevalence of malnutrition [i.e., moderate stunting (≤2 H/A-Z), underweight (≤2 W/A-Z), and wasting (≤2 W/H-Z) were respectively 0.3% (n = 2), 1.6% (n = 11), and 2.5% (n = 17). Children's mean hair Hg (HHg) concentration was 2.56 μg/g (SD = 1.67); only 14% of children had HHg concentrations lower than 1 μg/g and 1.7% had ≥5 μg/g. The biomarker of fish consumption was weakly but positively correlated with GDS (Spearman r = 0.080; p = 0.035). In the bivariate model, attained W/H-Z scores were not significantly correlated with GDS. A moderate level of GDS deficits (70-84%) was seen in 20% of children. There was significant correlation between family fish consumption and children's hair Hg (HHg) (Spearman r = 0.1756; p < 0.0001) but no significant correlation between children's HHg and W/H-Z scores. However, the multivariate model showed that breastfeeding, a fish consumption biomarker (HHg), maternal education, and child's age were statistically significant associated with specific domains (language and personal-social) of the Gesell scale. In this mining environment, family fish-eating did not affect children's linear growth, but it showed a positive influence (along with maternal variables) on neurodevelopment. Health hazards attendant on a high prevalence of moderate neurodevelopment delays coexisting with exposure to multiple neurotoxic substances merits further investigation in poor environmental settings of tin-mining areas. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Marques R.C.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Dorea J.G.,University of Brasilia | McManus C.,University of Brasilia | Leao R.S.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 5 more authors.
Public Health Nutrition

Objective To assess the dependence on fish consumption of families and its impact on nutritional status and neurodevelopment of pre-school children. Design Cross-sectional study that measured children's hair mercury (HHg) as an indicator of family fish consumption, growth (anthropometric Z-scores, WHO standards) and neurological (Gesell developmental scores (GDS)) development. Setting Traditional living conditions among families residing in the area adjacent to the Samuel Dam (Western Amazon) hydroelectric reservoir. Subjects Two hundred and forty-nine pre-school children (1-59 months of age) from families transitioning from the traditional Amazonian lifestyle. Results Family fish consumption was significantly correlated with children's HHg concentration (Spearman's r = 0·246, P < 0·0001); however, HHg had no significant association with growth (Z-scores). Overall, the prevalence of severe malnutrition, i.e. stunting (height-for-age Z-score (HAZ) ≤ -3), underweight (weight-for-age Z-score (WAZ) ≤ -3) and wasting (weight-for-height Z-score (WHZ) ≤ -3) was 5·2 % (n 13), 0 % and 0·8 % (n 2), respectively. The prevalence of moderate stunting (HAZ ≥ -3 to ≤ -2), underweight (WAZ ≥ -3 to ≤ -2) and wasting (WHZ ≥ -3 to ≤ -2) was 8·8 % (n 22), 2·4 % (n 6) and 4·8 % (n 12), respectively. Although 76 % of the children showed adequate GDS (>85), multiple regression analysis showed that fish consumption (as HHg) had no impact on GDS, but that some variables did interact significantly with specific domains (motor and language development). Conclusions The study showed that the families' shift in fish consumption had no negative impact on the growth of young children and that ensuing methylmercury exposure has not been a noticeable neurodevelopmental hindrance. © The Authors 2010. Source

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