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Arch Neurol. 2002 Nov;59(11):1787-92.

Plantation work and risk of Parkinson disease in a population-based longitudinal study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, USA. helen@phri.hawaii-health.com

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Parkinson disease (PD) has an unknown cause; however, convincing evidence is emerging that indicates pesticides can selectively injure the dopaminergic system in laboratory animals. Retrospective studies in humans demonstrate a link between exposure to agricultural lifestyle factors and PD.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether working on a plantation in Hawaii and exposure to pesticides are associated with an increased risk of PD decades later.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Prospective cohort study based on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, with 30 years of follow-up. Years of work on a plantation were assessed by questionnaire at study enrollment in 1965. Self-reported information on pesticide exposure was collected at a separate examination 6 years later.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants were 7986 Japanese American men born between 1900 and 1919 who were enrolled in the longitudinal Honolulu Heart Program.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Incident PD was determined by medical record review or by an examination conducted by a study neurologist at a later date.

RESULTS:

During follow-up, 116 men developed PD. Age-adjusted incidence increased significantly among men who worked more than 10 years on a plantation. The relative risk of PD was 1.0 (95% confidence interval, 0.6-1.6), 1.7 (95% confidence interval, 0.8-3.7), and 1.9 (95% confidence interval, 1.0-3.5) for men who worked on a plantation 1 to 10 years, 11 to 20 years, and more than 20 years compared with men who never did plantation work (P =.006, test for trend). Age-adjusted incidence of PD was higher in men exposed to pesticides than in men not exposed to pesticides although this was not statistically significant (P =.10, test for trend).

CONCLUSION:

These longitudinal observations regarding plantation work in Hawaii support case-control studies suggesting that exposure to pesticides increases the risk of PD.

PMID:
12433267
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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