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Occup Environ Med. 2017 Aug;74(8):578-585. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2016-103780. Epub 2017 Mar 29.

Occupational exposure and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in a prospective cohort.

Author information

1
Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2
Department of Epidemiology, GROW School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, Netherlands.
3
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
4
Julius Centre for Public Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To prospectively study suspected occupational risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

METHODS:

For this case-cohort analysis within the prospective Netherlands Cohort Study, 58 279 men and 62 573 women aged 55-69 years at enrolment in 1986 were followed up for 17.3 years on ALS mortality. Information on occupational history and potential confounders were collected at baseline through a self-administered questionnaire and entered for a random subcohort (2092 men and 2074 women) and ALS deaths (76 men and 60 women). Occupational exposure to solvents, pesticides, metals, extremely low frequency magnetic fields (ELF-MFs) and electrical shocks was estimated by means of job exposure matrices (JEMs). Associations between ever/never occupationally exposed and cumulative exposure and ALS mortality were analysed by gender using Cox regression.

RESULTS:

Occupational exposure to ELF-MF showed a possible association with ALS mortality among men: HR for ever holding a job with high exposure versus background 2.19 (95% (CI): 1.02 to 4.73) and HR for the highest tertile of cumulative exposure versus background 1.93 (95% CI 1.05 to 3.55).

INTERPRETATION:

These results strengthen the evidence suggesting a positive association between ELF-MF exposure and ALS. We did not replicate earlier positive findings for other occupational exposures.

KEYWORDS:

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Electromagnetic fields; metals; occupation; pesticides

PMID:
28356332
DOI:
10.1136/oemed-2016-103780
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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