Journal Article

Neurodegenerative Diseases and Exposure to Pesticides in the Elderly

Isabelle Baldi, Pierre Lebailly, Brahim Mohammed-Brahim, Luc Letenneur, Jean-François Dartigues and Patrick Brochard

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 157, issue 5, pages 409-414
Published in print March 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online March 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwf216
Neurodegenerative Diseases and Exposure to Pesticides in the Elderly

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The authors investigated the hypothesis that exposure to pesticides could be related to central nervous system disorders in a prospective cohort study of 1,507 French elderly (1992–1998). Lower cognitive performance was observed in subjects who had been occupationally exposed to pesticides. In men, the relative risks of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease for occupational exposure assessed by a job exposure matrix were 5.63 (95% confidence interval: 1.47, 21.58) and 2.39 (95% confidence interval: 1.02, 5.63), respectively, after confounding factors were taken into account. No association was found with having a primary job in agriculture or with environmental pesticide exposure, nor was an association found in women. These results suggest the presence of neurologic impairments in elderly persons who were exposed occupationally to pesticides.

Keywords: aged; Alzheimer disease; nervous system diseases; occupational exposure; Parkinson disease; pesticides; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; MMSE, Mini-Mental State Examination.

Journal Article.  3619 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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