Neurobehavioral effects of long-term exposure to pesticides: results from the 4-year follow-up of the PHYTONER study.
ABSTRACT The aim of the PHYTONER study is to investigate the role of pesticides on neurobehavioral performances in French vineyard workers.
929 workers affiliated to the health insurance system for farmers in the Bordeaux area of south-western France were enrolled in the study in 1997-1998. They were contacted for a first follow-up in 2001-2003. Participants completed a questionnaire and nine neurobehavioral tests. They were classified according to their life-long pesticide exposure, as directly exposed, indirectly exposed or non-exposed. Educational level, age, sex, alcohol consumption, smoking, psychotropic drug use and depressive symptoms were taken into account in the analysis.
614 subjects were available for investigation at follow-up. Follow-up analysis confirmed that the risk of obtaining a low performance on the tests was higher in exposed subjects, with ORs ranging from 1.35 to 5.60. Evolution of performances over the follow-up period demonstrated that exposed subjects had the worst decreases in performance. The risk of having a two-point lower score on the Mini-Mental State Examination was 2.15 (95% CI 1.18 to 3.94) in exposed subjects.
These results suggest long-term cognitive effects of chronic exposure to pesticides and raise the issue of the risk of evolution towards dementia. The PHYTONER study is the first to provide prospective data on the natural history of neurological disorders associated with pesticide exposure.
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ABSTRACT: A possible link between pesticide exposure and Parkinson's disease has been postulated for many years and recent studies help clarify this association. Mark Greener reports.Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry 01/2013; 17(1).
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ABSTRACT: The involvement of organophosphate insecticides in cognitive disorders is supported by epidemiologic and biological evidence, but the effects of long-term exposure remain debated. We studied the association between organophosphate exposure and cognitive performance in vine workers from the PHYTONER study cohort in the Bordeaux area of France. Results from interviews of 614 subjects conducted at the 4-year follow-up between 2001 and 2003 were analyzed. Exposure to pesticides since 1950 was assessed with cumulative exposure scores for 34 organophosphates combining an historical crop-exposure pesticide matrix and field exposure studies, taking into account the characteristics of treatment (mixing, spraying, equipment cleaning) and reentry tasks. For the 11 organophosphates retained in the analysis, exposure (ever vs. never) was associated with low cognitive performance. No dose-effect relationship was found, but an increased risk was observed with a 50-mg increase in the cumulative score, which was greater with mevinphos (Benton Visual Retention Test: odds ratio = 3.26, 95% confidence interval: 1.54, 6.88; Trail Making Test, part A: odds ratio = 3.03, 95% confidence interval: 1.39, 6.62). Our results support the hypothesis that cognitive disorders observed in vine workers may be associated with exposure to specific organophosphates.American journal of epidemiology 03/2013; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The intensive use of pesticides has attracted great attention from the Chinese government. However, current regulations have had limited influence on their safe use. Although the acute neurologic effects of pesticides have been well documented, little is known about their cumulative effects. Knowledge of the impact of pesticides on health may convince farmers to minimize their use. We conducted a cross-sectional study in three provinces of China to evaluate the relationship between pesticide exposure and neurological dysfunction. Crop farmers were divided into two groups depending on their level of pesticide exposure. A total of 236 participants were assessed by questionnaire and neurological examination for symptoms and signs of neuropathy. Characteristics of neurologic dysfunction following cumulative low-level exposure were assessed with logistic regression analysis. Farmers exposed to high-level pesticide use had greater risk of developing sensations of numbness or prickling (odds ratio (OR) 2.62, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08-6.36). After adjusting for recent exposure, the risk of numbness or prickling symptoms (OR 2.55, 95% CI: 1.04-6.25) remained statistically significant. Loss of muscle strength and decreased deep tendon reflexes had OR > 2, however, this did not reach statistical significance. These findings suggest that overuse of pesticides increased risk of neurologic dysfunction among farmers, with somatosensory small fibers most likely affected. Measures that are more efficient should be taken to curb excessive use of pesticides.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 01/2014; 11(4):3995-4006. · 2.00 Impact Factor