A Cohort Study of Pesticide Poisoning and Depression in Colorado Farm Residents

Department of Epidemiology, Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4395, USA. .
Annals of epidemiology (Impact Factor: 2). 09/2008; 18(10):768-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2008.05.004
Source: PubMed


Depressive symptoms have been associated with pesticide poisoning among farmers in cross-sectional studies, but no longitudinal studies have assessed the long-term influence of poisoning on depressive symptoms. The purpose of this study was to describe the associations between pesticide poisoning and depressive symptoms in a cohort of farm residents.
Farm operators and their spouses were recruited in 1993 from farm truck registrations using stratified probability sampling. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale was used to evaluate depression in participants using generalized estimating equations. Baseline self-reported pesticide poisoning was the exposure of interest in longitudinal analyses.
Pesticide poisoning was significantly associated with depression in three years of follow-up after adjusting for age, gender, and marital status (odds ratio [OR] 2.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20-5.58). Depression remained elevated after adjusting for health, decreased income, and increased debt (OR 2.00; CI 0.91-4.39) and was primarily due to significant associations with the symptoms being bothered by things (OR 3.29; CI 1.95-5.55) and feeling everything was an effort (OR 1.93; CI 1.14-3.27).
Feeling bothered and that everything was an effort were persistently associated with a history of pesticide poisoning, supportive of the hypothesis that prolonged irritability may result from pesticide poisoning.

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    • "For example , depression was more common among applicators who were past smokers ( Strine et al . 2008 ) or who had visited a medical doctor in the past year or had poorer health ( Beseler and Stallones 2008 ) . Therefore , the validity of self - reported ever physician - diagnosed depression in our study is likely good . "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Pesticide exposure may be positively associated with depression. Few previous studies have considered the episodic nature of depression or examined individual pesticides. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated associations between pesticide exposure and depression among male private pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study. METHODS: We analyzed data for 10 pesticide classes and 50 specific pesticides used by 21,208 applicators enrolled in 1993-1997 who completed a follow-up telephone interview in 2005-2010. We divided applicators who reported a physician diagnosis of depression (n = 1,702; 8%) into those who reported a previous diagnosis of depression at enrollment but not follow-up (n = 474; 28%), at both enrollment and follow-up (n = 540; 32%), and at follow-up but not enrollment (n = 688; 40%) and used polytomous logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs. We used inverse probability weighting to adjust for potential confounders and to account for the exclusion of 3,315 applicators with missing covariate data and 24,619 who did not complete the follow-up interview. RESULTS: After weighting for potential confounders, missing covariate data, and dropout, ever-use of two pesticide classes, fumigants and organochlorine insecticides, and seven individual pesticides- the fumigants aluminum phosphide and ethylene dibromide; the phenoxy herbicide (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy) acetic acid (2,4,5-T); the organochlorine insecticide dieldrin; and the organophosphate insecticides diazinon, malathion, and parathion-were all positively associated with depression in each case group, with ORs between 1.1 and 1.9. CONCLUSIONS: Our study supports a positive association between pesticide exposure and depression, including associations with several specific pesticides.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    • "The occurrence of pesticide poisoning episodes is an indicator of intense exposure to these products. This association is well established and is in agreement with several publications (London et al., 2005, 2012; Stallones and Beseler, 2002; Faria et al., 1999; Wesseling et al., 2010; Beseler et al., 2006, 2008; Poletto and Gontijo, 2012; Keifer and Firestone, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Exposure to pesticides has been associated with psychiatric problems among farm workers, although there is still controversy as to chemical types, intensity and forms of exposure that represent risk factors for neuropsychological problems. Furthermore, tobacco workers are exposed to dermal absorption of nicotine, although its effect on mental health has not yet been studied. Objectives: To identify the prevalence of minor psychiatric disorders (MPD) among tobacco farmers and associated factors, paying special attention to pesticide and nicotine exposure. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study with a representative sample of tobacco growers, characterizing economic indicators of the farms, socio-demographic factors, lifestyle habits and occupational exposures. Multivariate analysis was performed using a hierarchical Poisson regression model. Results: A total of 2400 tobacco farmers were assessed and MPD prevalence was 12%. MPD was higher among women (PR 1.4), workers aged 40 or over, tenants/employees (PR 1.8) and those who reported having difficulty in paying debts (PR 2.0). Low socioeconomic status was inversely associated with MPD prevalence. Tasks involving dermal exposure to pesticides showed risk varying between 35% and 71%, whereas tobacco growers on farms using organophosphates had 50% more risk of MPD than those not exposed to this kind of pesticide. The number of pesticide poisoning and green tobacco sickness episodes showed linear association with MPD. Conclusions: The study reinforces the evidence of the association between pesticide poisoning and mental health disorders. It also points to increased risk of MPD from low socioeconomic status, dermal pesticide exposure as well as from exposure to organophosphates. Furthermore, the study reveals intense nicotine exposure as a risk for tobacco farmers' mental health. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · NeuroToxicology
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    • "Several pesticides, especially organophosphates, are neurotoxic and have been associated with increased psychiatric problems, particularly depression (Stallones and Beseler, 2002; Beseler et al., 2006; London et al., 2005, 2012; Wesseling et al., 2010; Beseler and Stallones, 2008; Freire and Koifman, 2013; Lima et al., 2011; Keifer and Firestone, 2007). These problems could contribute to the occurrence of suicide among exposed workers (London et al., 2005, 2012; Stallones, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The association between pesticide use and an increased suicide risk is a controversial issue. Previous studies have shown higher rates of suicide among agricultural workers and people living in small municipalities, but have not identified the causes of these results.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · NeuroToxicology
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