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Dietary Patterns and Determinants of Mercury and Omega-3 Exposure in Pregnant Women Living in the Seychelles

Katie Evans, Dupont 
*Tanzy Love, University of Rochester 
Maria Mulhern, Ulster University 
Alison Yeates, Ulster University 
Sally W Thurston, University of Rochester 
Maxine Bonham, Ulster University 
Emeir McSorley, Ulster University 
Maxine Bonham, Ulster University 
Conrad F Shamlaye , Seychelles 
Maxine Bonham, Ulster University 
Phillip W Davidson, University of Rochester 
Gary Myers, University of Rochester 

Keywords: cluster analysis, diet patterns, dietary recommendations, fish consumption, pregnancy, methylmercury

Current fish advisories are based on epidemiological studies that associate fetal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg), presumably from fish consumption, with the children’s developmental outcomes. However, the relationship between fetal exposure and fish consumption is not straightforward. There are possible interactions with nutrients present in fish such as omega-3 long chain poly unsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) and with foods eaten as part of a dietary pattern. We examined dietary patterns to determine the overall dietary associations. Dietary patterns represent a broader picture of nutrient consumption and may be more relevant for fetal development than individual foods or nutrients. We compared fish consumption and dietary patterns to discover determinants of MeHg and LC-PUFA status in pregnant women. Cluster analysis was used to determine dietary patterns, and we correlated these dietary patterns with MeHg and LC-PUFA biomarkers. This work further explores the complex interrelationships present between nutrition and possible adverse associations with prenatal MeHg exposure in the Seychelles longitudinal observational cohort study.