Job Exposure Matrix (JEM)-Derived Estimates of Lifetime Occupational Pesticide Exposure and the Risk of Parkinson's Disease
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Studies that report an association between Parkinson's disease (PD) and occupational pesticide exposure often use self-reported exposure and none adjust for concomitant ambient pesticide exposure. For a population-based case-control study of PD conducted in California's heavily agricultural region, the authors developed a comprehensive job exposure matrix (JEM) to assess occupational exposure to pesticides. Relying on 357 incident cases and 750 population controls enrolled between 2001 and 2011, the authors estimated more than a 2-fold risk increase for PD among men classified as highly occupationally exposed. The authors also observed an exposure-response pattern and farming tasks with direct and intense pesticide exposures such as spraying and handling of pesticides resulted in greater risks than indirect bystander exposures. Results did not change after adjustment for ambient pesticide exposure. The authors provide further evidence that occupational pesticide exposure increases the risk of PD.