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J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Oct;48(10):1005-13.

Depression and pesticide exposures in female spouses of licensed pesticide applicators in the agricultural health study cohort.

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Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA. cbeseler@lamar,



This nested case-control study evaluated the association between depression and pesticide exposure among women.


The study population included 29,074 female spouses of private pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study between 1993 and 1997. Cases were women who had physician-diagnosed depression requiring medication. Lifetime pesticide use was categorized as never mixed/applied pesticides, low exposure (up to 225 days), high exposure (>225 days), and a history of diagnosed pesticide poisoning.


After adjustment for state, age, race, off-farm work, alcohol, cigarette smoking, physician visits, and solvent exposure, depression was significantly associated with a history of pesticide poisoning (odds ratio [OR] = 3.26; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.72-6.19) but not low (OR = 1.09; CI = 0.91-1.31) or high (OR = 1.09; 95% CI = 0.91-1.31) cumulative pesticide exposure.


Pesticide poisoning may contribute to risk of depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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