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Exposure to Pesticides and Welding Hastens the Age-at-Onset of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Pierre-Luc Gamache (a1) (a2), Ikhlass Haj Salem (a2), Noémie Roux-Dubois (a1) (a2), Jacques Le Bouthillier (a2), Ziv Gan-Or (a3) and Nicolas Dupré (a1) (a2)...

Abstract:

Background:

The age-at-onset (AAO) of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is thought to be influenced by environmental factors and polygenic predispositions. Professional exposures to pesticides and toxic metals were shown to be associated with an earlier onset in small sample studies.

Aim of Study:

The aim of this study was to confirm the association between professional exposures to pesticides and toxic metals and the AAO of PD, on a larger cohort of patients, defined with a clinic-based ascertainment scheme.

Methods:

We used an incident cohort of 290 patients recruited through three designated movement disorder clinics in the province of Quebec, Canada. Patients completed a detailed questionnaire regarding professional exposures to pesticides and toxic metals. We compared the AAO in patients without prior professional exposure (N = 170) and those with exposure to pesticides (N = 53) or toxic metals through welding (N = 30). We further subdivided patients exposed to pesticides according to the frequency and proximity of their contacts.

Results:

Patients with prior exposure to pesticides (AAO = 54.74 years) or toxic metals (54.27 years) had a significantly earlier AAO compared to the control group (59.26 years) (p = 0.003). In those exposed to pesticides, closer (p = 0.03) and more frequent (p = 0.02) contacts were negatively correlated with AAO.

Conclusion:

Exposure to pesticides and toxic metals were both associated with an earlier onset of PD, an effect that was greater with higher levels of exposure, both in terms of frequency and proximity.

L’exposition à des pesticides et à des métaux toxiques associés à la soudure diminue l’âge d’apparition de la maladie de Parkinson. Contexte: Il est courant de penser que l’âge d’apparition de la maladie de Parkinson (MP) est influencé par des facteurs environnementaux et des prédispositions polygéniques. À cet égard, on a montré, dans des études portant sur des échantillons plus restreints, que l’exposition à des pesticides et à des métaux toxiques lors d’une activité professionnelle était associée à un âge d’apparition de cette maladie plus précoce. Objectif de l’étude: Confirmer cette association à l’aide d’une cohorte de patients plus nombreux, cohorte établie en fonction d’un plan clinique de définition des cas (clinic-based ascertainment scheme). Méthodes: Notre étude a donc reposé sur une cohorte de 290 patients recrutés au Québec au sein de trois cliniques des troubles du mouvement préalablement désignées. Les patients choisis ont alors répondu à un questionnaire complet en ce qui concerne leur exposition à des pesticides et à des métaux toxiques dans le cadre de leur travail. Nous avons ensuite comparé l’âge d’apparition de la MP chez des patients n’ayant pas été exposés à ces éléments (n = 170) à l’âge d’apparition de la MP chez ceux ayant été exposés à des pesticides (n = 53) ou à des métaux toxiques associés à la soudure (n = 30). Plus encore, nous avons subdivisé les patients exposés à des pesticides selon la fréquence et le niveau de proximité de leurs contacts avec ces éléments. Résultats: L’âge d’apparition de la MP chez les patients préalablement exposés à des pesticides (54,74 ans) ou à des métaux toxiques (54,27 ans) s’est révélé notablement plus précoce en comparaison avec l’âge d’apparition de notre groupe témoin (59,26 ans ; p = 0,003). Chez ceux ayant été exposés à des pesticides, des contacts plus étroits (p = 0,03) et plus fréquents (p = 0,02) ont été corrélés négativement à l’âge d’apparition de la MP. Conclusion: En somme, l’exposition à des pesticides et à des métaux toxiques a été associée à un âge d’apparition de la MP plus précoce, corrélation qui s’est avérée plus importante avec un accroissement des niveaux d’exposition, qu’il s’agisse de fréquence ou de proximité.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Pierre-Luc Gamache, CHU de Québec, 1401, 18è rue, Québec City, Québec G1J 1Z4, Canada. Email: Pierre-Luc.Gamache.1@ulaval.ca

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Keywords

Exposure to Pesticides and Welding Hastens the Age-at-Onset of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Pierre-Luc Gamache (a1) (a2), Ikhlass Haj Salem (a2), Noémie Roux-Dubois (a1) (a2), Jacques Le Bouthillier (a2), Ziv Gan-Or (a3) and Nicolas Dupré (a1) (a2)...

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