Golding J, Hibbeln JR, Gregory SM, Iles-Caven Y, Emond A, Taylor CM. (2017) Int J Hyg Environ Health 220(7) 1161-1167. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.07.004.
Before adjustment, mean full-scale IQ increased with increasing Hg (change with 1SD of Hg=+2.02; 95%CI+1.40,+2.64 IQ points; P <0.0001); after adjustment effect size was reduced although still positive (+0.61;95%CI -0.06,+1.29 IQ points; P=0.073).
The adjusted positive relationship was stronger when fish-eating mothers were considered separately (+0.84:95%CI +0.13,+1.56 IQ points; P=0.021) in comparison with the outcomes for non-fish eaters, where the adjusted relationship was negative (-2.22;95%CI -5.00,+0.56 IQ points; P=0.117).
The binary outcome showed a similar pattern with the adjusted OR for non-fish-eaters 1.79 (95%CI 1.10,2.93; P=0.019) per SD of Hg, significantly different from that for fish consumers (0.94;95%CI:0.82,1.08)(Pinteraction<0.05). There were no differences between the sexes in the associations, nor did the level of the mother's blood selenium change the effect sizes.
Conclusion: The relationship between intrauterine exposure to mercury and offspring IQ appears to be benign provided the mother consumes fish.