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Study Results: Pesticides Increase Parkinson's Risk
Exposure to pesticides might increase the risk for Parkinson's disease, according a study funded by the European Commission. The study results were published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine in the article "Environmental Risk Factors for Parkinson's Disease and Parkinsonism: The Geoparkinson Study."
The authors of the study state the risk of developing Parkinson's disease increases according to the level of exposure. Further research could identify more specifically which pesticides are associated with the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
People who had been exposed to low levels of pesticides were found to be 1.13 times as likely to have Parkinson's disease compared with those who had never been exposed. Those who had been exposed to high levels of pesticides were 1.41 times as likely to be affected.
The research involved 959 prevalent cases of parkinsonism (767 with Parkinson's disease) and 1,989 controls recruited in Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Romania and Malta.
Cases were defined using the United Kingdom Parkinson's Disease Society Brain Bank criteria. Patients with drug-induced or vascular parkinsonism or dementia were excluded.
Subjects completed a questionnaire regarding their lifetime occupational and recreational exposure to solvents, pesticides, iron, copper and manganese. Their lifetime exposure was then estimated blind to disease status and the results were adjusted, as appropriate, for age, sex, country of residence, tobacco use, ever having been knocked unconscious and family history of Parkinson's disease.
More information on the study can be found at http://oem.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/oem.2006.027003v1 .