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Neurotoxicology. 2005 Jan;26(1):99-105.

Occupations and Parkinson's disease: a multi-center case-control study in South Korea.

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  • 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Incheon, South Korea.



We performed a hospital based case-control study in South Korea (1) to clarify the role of occupational exposure, and especially manganese (Mn) exposure in the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) and (2) to discover the association between any occupations and PD.


We selected two groups, PD patient group (N1) and controls (N2). Three hundred sixty-seven consecutive outpatients with PD (177 men, 190 women) and 309 controls were interviewed about life style, past history, family history, education level, and occupational history etc. We employed a range of industrial categories as defined by section (the most broad category) and division (sub-category) of the Korea Standard Industry Code (KSIC) Manual. Along with KSIC, we also used the Korea Standard Classification of Occupations (KSCO) as proxies of occupational exposure. The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for age, sex, smoking status, and education level are presented.


As regarding the exposure to hazardous materials, especially Mn, more subjects in the control group than the PD patient group have worked in the occupations with potential exposure to Mn (P < 0.001). Ever having worked in 'agriculture, hunting, and forestry' section of industry was positively associated with PD (OR 1.88), and 'agriculture production crops (OR 1.96)' division of industry was positively associated with PD. On the other hand, ever having worked in the 'manufacturing (OR 0.56)', 'transportation (OR 0.28)' section of industry, and 'transporting (OR 0.20)' division of industry were negatively associated with PD. 'Drivers (OR 0.13)' division of occupation also was negatively associated with PD.


To our knowledge, this is the first case-control studies to find an inverse relationship between 'transporting' or 'technicians like machinery engineers' as his/her longest job and PD risk. Because of this unexpected finding, our work should be replicated in various populations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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