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Am J Ind Med. 2015 Jun;58(6):625-35. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22462. Epub 2015 May 5.

Occupational exposures and risk of dementia-related mortality in the prospective Netherlands Cohort Study.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University, Utrecht.
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, GROW School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht.
  • 3Occupational Respiratory Epidemiology, School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.
  • 4Julius Centre for Public Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center, Utrecht.



Occupational exposures may be associated with non-vascular dementia.


We analyzed the effects of occupational exposures to solvents, pesticides, metals, extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MF), electrical shocks, and diesel motor exhaust on non-vascular dementia related mortality in the Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS). Exposures were assigned using job-exposure matrices. After 17.3 years of follow-up, 682 male and 870 female cases were available. Analyses were performed using Cox regression.


Occupational exposure to metals, chlorinated solvents and ELF-MF showed positive associations with non-vascular dementia among men, which seemed driven by metals (hazard ratio ever high vs. background exposure: 1.35 [0.98-1.86]). Pesticide exposure showed statistically significant, inverse associations with non-vascular dementia among men. We found no associations for shocks, aromatic solvents, and diesel motor exhaust.


Consistent positive associations were found between occupational exposure to metals and non-vascular dementia. The finding on pesticides is not supported in the overall literature.


Alzheimer's disease; cohort; dementia; diesel motor exhaust; extremely low frequency magnetic fields; metals; occupation; pesticides; solvents

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