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Occupational exposure to pesticides are associated with fixed airflow obstruction in middle-age

Alif, SM, Dharmage, SC, Benke, G, Dennekamp, M, Burgess, JA, Perret, JL, Lodge, CJ, Morrison, S, Johns, DP ORCID: 0000-0002-1575-6850, Giles, GG, Gurrin, LC, Thomas, PS, Hopper, JL, Wood-Baker, R, Thompson, BR, Feather, IH, Vermeulen, R, Kromhout, H, Walters, EH ORCID: 0000-0002-0993-4374, Abramson, MJ and Matheson, MC 2017 , 'Occupational exposure to pesticides are associated with fixed airflow obstruction in middle-age' , Thorax, vol. 72, no. 11 , pp. 990-997 , doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-209665.

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Abstract

Rationale: Population-based studies have found evidenceof a relationship between occupational exposuresand Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), butthese studies are limited by the use of prebronchodilatorspirometry. Establishing this link using postbronchodilatoris critical, because occupational exposures are amodifiable risk factor for COPD.Objectives: To investigate the associations betweenoccupational exposures and fixed airflow obstructionusing postbronchodilator spirometry.Methods: One thousand three hundred and thirty-fiveparticipants were included from 2002 to 2008 followupof the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TA HS).Spirometry was performed and lifetime work historycalendars were used to collect occupational history.ALOHA plus Job Exposure Matrix was used to assignoccupational exposure, and defined as ever exposedand cumulative exposure unit (EU)-years. Fixed airflowobstruction was defined by postbronchodilator FEV1/FVCResults: Ever exposure to biological dust (relativerisk (RR)=1.58, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.48), pesticides(RR=1.74,95% CI 1.00 to 3.07) and herbicides(RR=2.09,95% CI 1.18 to 3.70) were associated withfixed airflow obstruction. Cumulative EU-years to allpesticides (RR=1.11,95% CI 1.00 to 1.25) and herbicides(RR=1.15,95% CI 1.00 to 1.32) were also associatedwith fixed airflow obstruction. In addition, all pesticidesexposure was consistently associated with chronicbronchitis and symptoms that are consistent with airflowobstruction. Ever exposure to mineral dust, gases/fumesand vapours, gases, dust or fumes were only associatedwith fixed airflow obstruction in non-asthmatics only.Conclusions: Pesticides and herbicides exposures wereassociated with fixed airflow obstruction and chronicbronchitis. Biological dust exposure was also associatedwith fixed airflow obstruction in non-asthmatics.Minimising occupational exposure to these agents mayhelp to reduce the burden of COPD.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Alif, SM and Dharmage, SC and Benke, G and Dennekamp, M and Burgess, JA and Perret, JL and Lodge, CJ and Morrison, S and Johns, DP and Giles, GG and Gurrin, LC and Thomas, PS and Hopper, JL and Wood-Baker, R and Thompson, BR and Feather, IH and Vermeulen, R and Kromhout, H and Walters, EH and Abramson, MJ and Matheson, MC
Keywords: COPD, airflow obstruction, pesticides
Journal or Publication Title: Thorax
Publisher: B M J Publishing Group
ISSN: 0040-6376
DOI / ID Number: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-209665
Copyright Information:

© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017.

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