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Ann Epidemiol. 2013 Sep;23(9):539-45. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.06.005. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Agricultural exposures and chronic bronchitis: findings from the AGRICAN (AGRIculture and CANcer) cohort.

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University of Caen Basse-Normandie, Cancers et Préventions, IFR ICORE, Caen, France.



Livestock farming has been recognized as a risk factor for chronic bronchitis (CB). The role of crop farming, however, has been less studied. We sought to assess the role of a large range of farming activities on the risk of CB in the French agricultural cohort AGRICAN (AGRIculture and CANcer).


Data on respiratory health and farming activities were collected by questionnaire from 2005 to 2007. Associations between farming activities and self-reported doctor's diagnosis of CB were estimated by a logistic regression adjusted for confounders.


CB was reported by 1207 farmers (8.4%). Two farming activities were associated with CB: cattle raising (odds ratio [OR] 1.24, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.48), and potato production (OR 1.33, 95% confidence interval 1.13-1.57). Associations were more pronounced in small-scale cattle raising and in large-scale potato production, in particular among the longest exposed workers (≥20 years). Pesticide poisoning and exposure to pesticides in potato farmers were significantly associated with CB risk (OR 1.64 and OR 1.63, respectively).


This analysis suggests that other agricultural settings not previously reported, such as potato production, may be a risk factor for CB. The nature and circumstances of exposure to hazardous agents need to be further explored.


Agriculture; Animals; Bronchitis; Chronic; Crops; Pesticides

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