Mercury-induced Oxidative Stress May Adversely Affect Pregnancy Outcome among Dental Staff: A Cohort Study

Aziza El-Badry, Mohamed Rezk, Hanan El-Sayed


Background: Dental staff may be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome secondary to their chronic exposure to mercury.

Objective: To investigate obstetric outcome among dental staff and explore the oxidative stress induced by mercury exposure.

Methods: A cohort of 64 pregnant dental staff (exposed group) and 60 pregnant employees (non-exposed group) were studied. Urinary mercury level and blood antioxidant activity were measured. Participants were followed to assess their obstetric outcome.

Results: The exposed group had a higher mean urinary mercury level and a lower blood antioxidant activity during the three trimesters compared to non-exposed group (p<0.001). Women in the exposed group were experienced more frequently spontaneous abortion and pre-eclampsia (p<0.05). Babies born to the women in the exposed group tended to be smaller for gestational age compared to those of non-exposed group (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Pregnant dental staff suffered higher odds of developing spontaneous abortion and pre-eclampsia and giving birth to babies smaller for gestational age. This may be linked to oxidative stress induced by exposure to mercury.


Dental staff; Pregnancy outcome; Mercury poisoning; Oxidative stress; Antioxidants; Glutathione peroxidase; Superoxide dismutase

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2018.1181

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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