Environmental and occupational risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A case-control study
Background/Aims: Environmental and occupational exposures are implicated as risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the etiology of which is largely unknown, although no causal relationships have been established. Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the associations of personal risk factors and self-reported environmental and occupational exposures with risk of ALS. Methods: The cases involved ALS patients (n = 66) identified from major neurological centers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa., USA, from 2008 to 2010. The age-, race-and sex-matched controls included outpatient hospital and population-based controls (n = 66). A detailed questionnaire obtaining data on occupation, vocational and avocational exposure as well as personal lifestyle factors was administered. Results: Occupational exposure to metals (odds ratio, OR = 3.65; 95% CI: 1.15, 11.60) and pesticides (OR = 6.50; 95% CI: 1.78, 23.77) was related to increased risk of ALS after controlling for smoking and education. No associations were found for occupational exposure to organic or aromatic solvents. Conclusion: Workers exposed to metals and pesticides may be at greater risk of ALS. Future research should involve more accurate exposure assessment through the use of job exposure matrices, confirmation of occupation and biomarkers. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Malek, Angela M.; Barchowsky, Aaron; Bowser, Robert; Heiman-Patterson, Terry; Lacomis, David; Rana, Sandeep; Youk, Ada; Stickler, David; Lackland, Daniel T.; and Talbott, Evelyn O., "Environmental and occupational risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A case-control study" (2014). Neurobiology. 550.