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Environ Res. 2012 Aug;117:112-9. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2012.06.007. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Pesticide exposure as a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies: pesticide exposure as a risk factor for ALS.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosciences, College of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. malek@musc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Exposure to pesticides and agricultural chemicals has been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) although findings have been inconsistent. A meta-analysis of studies published through May, 2011 was conducted to investigate the association of pesticide exposure and risk of ALS.

METHODS:

Six peer-reviewed studies that met criteria were included in a meta-analysis of men involving 1,517 ALS deaths from one retrospective cohort study and 589 ALS or motor neuron disease cases from five case-control studies. A random effects model was used to calculate sex-specific pooled odds ratios (ORs).

RESULTS:

Evidence was found for an association of exposure to pesticides and risk of ALS in male cases compared to controls (OR=1.88, 95% CI: 1.36-2.61), although the chemical or class of pesticide was not specified by the majority of studies.

CONCLUSION:

This meta-analysis supports the relationship of exposure to pesticides and development of ALS among male cases compared to controls. The weight of evidence links pesticide exposure to ALS; however, additional prospective studies with a target exposure group are necessary to better elucidate the relationship. Future research should focus on more accurate exposure assessment and the use of job exposure matrices.

PMID:
22819005
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2012.06.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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