The Inuit population of Nunavik (Canada) is exposed to immunotoxic organochlorines (OCs) mainly through the consumption of fish and marine mammal fat. We investigated the effect of perinatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) on the incidence of acute infections in Inuit infants. We reviewed the medical charts of a cohort of 199 Inuit infants during the first 12 months of life and evaluated the incidence rates of upper and lower respiratory tract infections (URTI and LRTIs, respectively), otitis media, and gastrointestinal (GI) infections. Maternal plasma during delivery and infant plasma at 7 months of age were sampled and assayed for PCBs and DDE. Compared to rates for infants in the first quartile of exposure to PCBs (least exposed), adjusted rate ratios for infants in higher quartiles ranged between 1.09 and 1.32 for URTIs, 0.99 and 1.39 for otitis, 1.52 and 1.89 for GI infections, and 1.16 and 1.68 for LRTIs during the first 6 months of follow-up. For all infections combined, the rate ratios ranged from 1.17 to 1.27. The effect size was similar for DDE exposure but was lower for the full 12-month follow-up. Globally, most rate ratios were > 1.0, but few were statistically significant (p
OBJECTIVES: The Inuit of Nunavik in northern Quebec have a lower risk for ischemic heart disease (IHD) compared to Caucasian populations. Acylation stimulating protein (ASP), which is involved in the storage of dietary fat, may play a role. The objective of the study was to determine plasma concentration of ASP in an Inuit and a southern Quebec Caucasian population. STUDY DESIGN: This is a cross-sectional study evaluating the relationship between ASP and dietary factors, such as retinol, whose intake is higher in the Inuit. As well, concentrations of ASP were evaluated in relationship to components of the metabolic syndrome. METHODS: Medical history was collected via a questionnaire and anthropometric measurements and blood samples were collected. RESULTS: ASP was significantly higher in both the Inuit men and women compared to Caucasian men (66.1 +/- 4.1 nM vs 27.5 +/- 2.5 nM, p
RefSource: Int J Circumpolar Health. 2009 Dec;68(5):419-20
Motor deficits have frequently been reported in methylmercury (MeHg) poisoning in adults. However, whether exposure to neurotoxic contaminants from environmental sources early in life is associated with neuromotor impairments has received relatively little attention. This study examines the relation of developmental exposure to MeHg, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and lead to motor function in school-age Inuit children exposed through their traditional diet.
In a prospective study in Nunavik, children (mean age=11.3years) were assessed on a battery of fine motor tasks, namely the Stanford-Binet Copying subtest (N=262), the Santa Ana Form Board, and the Finger Tapping Test (N=215). The relation of mercury (Hg; as an index of MeHg exposure), PCB congener 153 (PCB153), and lead concentrations in cord and current blood samples to task performance was examined using linear regression analyses.
After adjustment for potential confounders and control for the other contaminants, higher current PCB concentrations were associated with poorer Santa Ana Form Board and Finger Tapping performance. Results were virtually identical when PCB153 was replaced by other PCB congeners. Higher current Hg levels were independently associated with poorer Finger Tapping performance.
This is the first prospective longitudinal study in children to provide evidence of neuromotor impairments associated with postnatal exposure to seafood contaminants from environmental sources. Fine motor speed appears particularly sensitive to the effects of postnatal PCB exposure, which is unusually high in this population. Results with postnatal MeHg are concordant with previous cross-sectional studies with children and adults.
Cadmium (Cd), a nonessential toxic metal present in the environment, accumulates in the organs of herbivorous mammals which typically are consumed by Aboriginal populations. The relative contribution of this potential exposure source to concentrations of blood Cd was investigated in 1429 participants (age >7 years) residing in the nine Cree First Nations communities of Eeyou Istchee, northern Quebec, Canada. Analysis of variance identified significant Cd concentration differences between communities, sex, and age groups, although these were complicated by significant 2-way interactions. The percentage of participants with Cd concentrations within the adopted health-based guideline categories of 'acceptable', 'concern' and 'action' pertaining to kidney damage was 56.2%, 38.3%, and 5.5%, respectively. Partial correlations (controlling for age as a continuous variable) did not show a significant association between consumption of traditional foods and Cd concentrations (r = 0.014, df = 105, p = 0.883). A significant and positive partial correlation (r = 0.390, df = 105, p
There is growing evidence that fruit polyphenols exert beneficial effects on the metabolic syndrome, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In the present study, we aimed to analyse the effects of polyphenolic extracts from five types of Arctic berries in a model of diet-induced obesity.
Male C57BL/6 J mice were fed a high-fat/high-sucrose (HFHS) diet and orally treated with extracts of bog blueberry (BBE), cloudberry (CLE), crowberry (CRE), alpine bearberry (ABE), lingonberry (LGE) or vehicle (HFHS) for 8 weeks. An additional group of standard-chow-fed, vehicle-treated mice was included as a reference control for diet-induced obesity. OGTTs and insulin tolerance tests were conducted, and both plasma insulin and C-peptide were assessed throughout the OGTT. Quantitative PCR, western blot analysis and ELISAs were used to assess enterohepatic immunometabolic features. Faecal DNA was extracted and 16S rRNA gene-based analysis was used to profile the gut microbiota.
Treatment with CLE, ABE and LGE, but not with BBE or CRE, prevented both fasting hyperinsulinaemia (mean ± SEM [pmol/l]: chow 67.2?±?12.3, HFHS 153.9?±?19.3, BBE 114.4?±?14.3, CLE 82.5?±?13.0, CRE 152.3?±?24.4, ABE 90.6?±?18.0, LGE 95.4?±?10.5) and postprandial hyperinsulinaemia (mean ± SEM AUC [pmol/l?×?min]: chow 14.3?±?1.4, HFHS 31.4?±?3.1, BBE 27.2?±?4.0, CLE 17.7?±?2.2, CRE 32.6?±?6.3, ABE 22.7?±?18.0, LGE 23.9?±?2.5). None of the berry extracts affected C-peptide levels or body weight gain. Levels of hepatic serine phosphorylated Akt were 1.6-, 1.5- and 1.2-fold higher with CLE, ABE and LGE treatment, respectively, and hepatic carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule (CEACAM)-1 tyrosine phosphorylation was 0.6-, 0.7- and 0.9-fold increased in these mice vs vehicle-treated, HFHS-fed mice. These changes were associated with reduced liver triacylglycerol deposition, lower circulating endotoxins, alleviated hepatic and intestinal inflammation, and major gut microbial alterations (e.g. bloom of Akkermansia muciniphila, Turicibacter and Oscillibacter) in CLE-, ABE- and LGE-treated mice.
Our findings reveal novel mechanisms by which polyphenolic extracts from ABE, LGE and especially CLE target the gut-liver axis to protect diet-induced obese mice against metabolic endotoxaemia, insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis, which importantly improves hepatic insulin clearance. These results support the potential benefits of these Arctic berries and their integration into health programmes to help attenuate obesity-related chronic inflammation and metabolic disorders.
All raw sequences have been deposited in the public European Nucleotide Archive server under accession number PRJEB19783 ( https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena/data/view/PRJEB19783 ).
Epidemiological evidence suggests a negative impact of methylmercury (MeHg) on cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR). This issue is of concern in Arctic populations such as in the Inuit of Nunavik since this contaminant is accumulated in fish and marine mammals, which still represent the subsistence diet of this population.
We examined the associations between MeHg and BP and resting HR among Inuit adults.
The "Santé Quebec" health survey was conducted in 1992 in the 14 villages of Nunavik and a complete set of data was obtained for 313 Inuit adults=18 years. Blood samples were collected in order to determine total mercury, lead, total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), fasting glucose and lipid profile while socio-demographic variables were obtained through questionnaires. Anthropometric measurements as well as BP and resting HR were obtained using standardised protocols. Pulse pressure (PP: systolic BP minus diastolic BP) was also calculated. Multiple linear regression was used in order to determine the change in the dependent variables associated with the quartiles of MeHg concentration, taking the quartile 1 as reference.
The mean age of the participants was 38±14 years and the sample was composed of 132 men (42.2%) and 181 women (57.8%). MeHg geometric mean was 15.4 µg/L (95%CI: 13.9-17.0) and levels ranged from 0.8 to 112.0 µg/L. Resting HR increased linearly across quartiles of blood MeHg concentration after adjusting for confounders (p for trend=0.02). An increase of 6.9 beats per minute (bpm) between the 4th and 1st quartile was observed after adjusting for confounders. No significant association was observed between blood MeHg and systolic BP, diastolic BP or PP.
MeHg was associated with increasing resting HR after considering traditional risk factors as well as other contaminants (lead and total PCBs) and n-3 PUFAs. In contrast, no significant association with blood pressure was observed in this study.
Recent evidence suggests that exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) increases the risk of hypertension in environmentally exposed populations. High POP levels have been detected in Arctic populations and the exposure is related to high consumption of fish and marine mammals, which represent the traditional diet of these populations.
We examined the associations between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine (OC) pesticides and hypertension among Inuit from Nunavik (Quebec, Canada).
A complete set of data was obtained for 315 Inuit=18years who participated in the "Santé Québec" health survey that was conducted in the 14 villages of Nunavik in 1992. Fourteen polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 8 OC pesticides or their metabolites were measured in plasma samples using gas chromatography with electron capture detection. Blood pressure (BP) was measured using a standardized protocol and information regarding anti-hypertensive medication was obtained through questionnaires. The associations between log-transformed POPs and hypertension (systolic BP=140mmHg, diastolic BP=90mmHg or anti-hypertensive medication) were analyzed using multiple logistic regressions.
Total PCBs as well as the sum of non-dioxin-like PCBs were significantly associated with higher risk of hypertension. Furthermore, the risk of hypertension increased with higher plasma concentrations of congeners 101, 105, 138 and 187. Models adjusted for BP risk factors became significant after including n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and further adjustment for lead and mercury did not change the results. Regarding OC pesticides, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) was associated with increased risk of hypertension while inverse associations were observed with p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p'-DDT), ß-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and oxychlordane.
Some PCB congeners were associated with higher risk of hypertension in this highly exposed population. Most associations became significant after including n-3 PUFAs in the models. However, the analyses of OC pesticides revealed divergent results, which need to be confirmed in further cohort and experimental studies.
Smoking during pregnancy is common among Inuit women from the Canadian Arctic. Yet prenatal cigarette smoke exposure (PCSE) is seen as a major risk factor for childhood behavior problems. Recent data also suggest that co-exposure to neurotoxic environmental contaminants can exacerbate the effects of PCSE on behavior. This study examined the association between PCSE and behavior at school age in a sample of Inuit children from Nunavik, Qu?bec, where co-exposure to environmental contaminants is also an important issue. Interactions with lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg), two contaminants associated with behavioral problems, were also explored.
Participants were 271 children (mean age=11.3years) involved in a prospective birth-cohort study. PCSE was assessed through maternal recall. Assessment of child behavior was obtained from the child's classroom teacher on the Teacher Report Form (TRF) and the Disruptive Behavior Disorders Rating Scale (DBD). Exposure to contaminants was assessed from umbilical cord and child blood samples. Other confounders were documented by maternal interview.
After control for contaminants and confounders, PCSE was associated with increased externalizing behaviors and attention problems on the TRF and higher prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessed on the DBD. No interactions were found with contaminants.
This study extends the existing empirical evidence linking PCSE to behavioral problems in school-aged children by reporting these effects in a population where tobacco use is normative rather than marginal. Co-exposure to Pb and Hg do not appear to exacerbate tobacco effects, suggesting that these substances act independently.
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AIMS: Studies of blood pressure among various Inuit (Eskimo) populations in the Arctic have given inconsistent results. Most studies reported lower blood pressure among the Inuit as compared with the predominantly white national populations. This has been attributed to traditional subsistence practices and lifestyle. This study compared the blood pressure among the major Inuit population groups with other populations and examined the associations with factors like age, gender, obesity and smoking. METHODS: The study comprised four Inuit populations from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland with participation rates ranging from 51% to 73%. In a cross-sectional design, 2,509 randomly selected adults from 31 villages were examined. Blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, smoking, and medication were recorded. RESULTS: Mean systolic blood pressures ranged from 116 to 124 mm Hg among men and 110 to 118 among women in the four populations. Mean diastolic blood pressures ranged from 75 to 78 mm Hg among men and from 71 to 73 among women. Systolic blood pressure increased with age. Male gender, obesity, being a non-smoker, and being on anti-hypertensive treatment were associated with high systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Adjusted for age, body mass index, smoking, and anti-hypertensive treatment, blood pressure differed among the populations (p