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Neurology. 1998 May;50(5):1346-50.

The risk of Parkinson's disease with exposure to pesticides, farming, well water, and rural living.

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Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


We assessed exposure to pesticides, farming, well water use, and rural living as risk factors for Parkinson's disease (PD) in a population-based case-control study consisting of men and women > or = 50 years of age who had primary medical care at Henry Ford Health System in metropolitan Detroit. Enrolled PD patients (n = 144) and control subjects (n = 464) were frequency-matched for age, race, and sex. When adjusted for these variables and smoking status, there was a significant association of occupational exposure to herbicides (odds ratio [OR], 4.10; 95% CI, 1.37, 12.24) and insecticides (OR, 3.55; 95% CI, 1.75, 7.18) with PD, but no relation was found with fungicide exposure. Farming as an occupation was significantly associated with PD (OR, 2.79; 95% CI, 1.03, 7.55), but there was no increased risk of the disease with rural or farm residence or well water use. The association of occupational exposure to herbicides or insecticides with PD remained after adjustment for farming. The association of farming with PD was maintained after adjustment for occupational herbicide exposure and was of borderline significance after adjustment for occupational insecticide exposure. These results suggest that PD is associated with occupational exposure to herbicides and insecticides and to farming and that the risk of farming cannot be accounted for by pesticide exposure alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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