Pesticide use and adult-onset asthma among male farmers in the Agricultural Health Study

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology Branch, MD A3-05, PO Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233, USA.
European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor: 7.64). 07/2009; 34(6):1296-303. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00005509
Source: PubMed


Although specific pesticides have been associated with wheeze in farmers, little is known about pesticides and asthma. Data from 19,704 male farmers in the Agricultural Health Study were used to evaluate lifetime use of 48 pesticides and prevalent adult-onset asthma, defined as doctor-diagnosed asthma after the age of 20 yrs. Asthma cases were categorised as allergic (n = 127) and nonallergic (n = 314) based on their history of eczema or hay fever. Polytomous logistic regression, controlling for age, state, smoking and body mass, was used to assess pesticide associations. High pesticide exposure events were associated with a doubling of both allergic and nonallergic asthma. For ever-use, 12 individual pesticides were associated with allergic asthma and four with nonallergic asthma. For allergic asthma, coumaphos (OR 2.34; 95% CI 1.49-3.70), heptachlor (OR 2.01; 95% CI 1.30-3.11), parathion (OR 2.05; 95% CI 1.21-3.46), 80/20 mix (carbon tetrachloride/carbon disulfide) (OR 2.15; 95% CI 1.23-3.76) and ethylene dibromide (OR 2.07; 95% CI 1.02-4.20) all showed ORs of >2.0 and significant exposure-response trends. For nonallergic asthma, DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) showed the strongest association (OR 1.41; 95% CI 1.09-1.84), but with little evidence of increasing asthma with increasing use. Current animal handling and farm activities did not confound these results. There was little evidence that allergy alone was driving these associations. In conclusion, pesticides may be an overlooked contributor to asthma risk among farmers.

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    • "Recent studies have shown that different pesticides are associated with adult-onset allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma [Hoppin et al., 2009]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Few studies have investigated asthma and pesticides among women farm workers in developing countries.MethodsA cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the association between pesticides and asthma among rural women (n = 211). Outcome measurements included respiratory symptoms (European Community Respiratory Health Survey questionnaire), immunological status (Phadiatop, serum IgE to mite allergens) and lower airway inflammation (fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) levels). Exposure variables included self-reported pesticide exposure and whole blood cholinesterase (ChE).ResultsThe prevalence of ocular-nasal symptoms (ONS), doctor-diagnosed asthma and current asthma was 24%, 11%, and 6% respectively. ONS was positively associated with re-entering a sprayed field (OR = 2.97; CI: 0.93–9.50). Asthma symptom score was associated with low ChE (OR = 1.93; CI: 1.09–3.44). Participants with high FeNO (>50 ppb) also had an elevated odds of having low ChE (OR = 4.8; CI: 0.80–28.00).Conclusion Pesticide exposure among women farm workers is associated with increased risk of ocular nasal symptoms and an elevated asthma symptom score. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · American Journal of Industrial Medicine
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    • "Hoppin et al. [7] studied the use of pesticides in farm women and the incidence of atopic and non atopic asthma, they found that the use of pesticides in the farm was associated only with atopic asthma (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.14–1.87). Similarly, it was found that pesticides may be related to increased incidence of adult onset asthma in male farmers using pesticides [17]. Another earlier study found an increased incidence of asthma in a cohort of insecticide outdoor workers [18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The aim of the current work is to study the influence of indoor respiratory irritants on the course of bronchial asthma. Subjects & methods Thirty-eight asthmatic patients were included in the study. They were subjected to history taking, clinical examination, and PEFR. Then they were asked to answer two questionnaires, the first one includes the investigated indoor irritants and the other detects the level of asthma control. Results There were no statistical significant differences between level of use and level of asthma control, either in uncontrolled or partially controlled asthma. The usual users were significantly more uncontrolled in household chlorine and chlorine for laundry. The usual users of phenol were statistically highly significantly more uncontrolled asthmatics. No significant difference was seen between level of asthma control and level of use in fragrance, incense and perfumes. Conclusion Chlorine and phenol had significantly higher effect on the asthma control level than other respiratory irritants.
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    • "et al . , 2011a Reproductive disorders Petrelli and Mantovani , 2002 ; Greenlee et al . , 2003 Birth defects Winchester et al . , 2009 ; Mesnage et al . , 2010 Hormonal imbalances including infertility and breast pain Xavier et al . , 2004 Respiratory diseases ( Asthma , Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ) ) Chakraborty et al . , 2009 ; Hoppin et al . , 2009"

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