A pilot study of occupational and environmental risk factors for Parkinson's disease.Neurotoxicology. 1991 Fall; 12(3):387-92.N
Increasingly, the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been linked to exposures to environmental toxicants. This epidemiologic pilot study used a self-administered questionnaire among 34 PD cases and 22 other neurology clinic control patients. All subjects were at least 40 years old. Risk factors investigated included occupation, well-water use, pesticide use, metal exposures, medical history, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug use. Twenty-six percent of the male PD cases reported having been employed in farming versus eleven percent for male controls (OR = 3.1, 95% C.I. = 0.3 to 35). Sixteen percent of male cases versus none of the controls reported employment as welders. No clear trends involving exposure to either occupational or home pesticides emerged. In assessing occupational exposures to metals, aluminum and copper exposures tended to be more common among male cases than male controls. Additionally, as reported in other studies, smoking showed an inverse relationship with PD. Although the findings reported here are provocative, these results are statistically imprecise and must be interpreted cautiously because of the small number of subjects included in the study.