Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and agricultural environments: A systematic review

Hyun Kang, Eun Shil Cha, Geun Joo Choi, Won Jin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and exposure to rural environments. Studies were identified through OVID MEDLINE and EMBASE search up to September 2013 using as keywords rural residence, farmers, and pesticide exposure. Twenty-two studies were included for this meta-analysis. Summary odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using random effect model by type of exposure index, and subgroup analyses were conducted according to study design, gender, region, case ascertainment, and exposure assessment. The risk of ALS was significantly increased with pesticide exposure (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.22-1.70) and with farmers (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.17-1.73), but was not significant with rural residence (OR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.84-1.87). The risk estimates for subgroup analysis between pesticide exposure and ALS indicated a significant positive association with men (OR, 1.96), and in studies using El Escorial criteria for ALS definition (OR, 1.63) and expert judgment for pesticide exposure (OR, 2.04) as well. No significant publication bias was observed. Our findings support the association of pesticide exposure and an increased risk for ALS, stressing that the use of more specific exposure information resulted in more significant associations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1610-1617
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Environmental exposure
  • Farming
  • Meta-analysis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Occupations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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