Depression and pesticide exposures in female spouses of licensed pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study cohort

Cheryl Beseler, Lorann Stallones, Jane A. Hoppin, Michael C.R. Alavanja, Aaron Blair, Thomas Keefe, Freya Kamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This nested case-control study evaluated the association between depression and pesticide exposure among women. METHODS: The study population included 29,074 female spouses of private pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study between 1993 and 1997. Cases were women who had physician-diagnosed depression requiring medication. Lifetime pesticide use was categorized as never mixed/applied pesticides, low exposure (up to 225 days), high exposure (>225 days), and a history of diagnosed pesticide poisoning. RESULTS: After adjustment for state, age, race, off-farm work, alcohol, cigarette smoking, physician visits, and solvent exposure, depression was significantly associated with a history of pesticide poisoning (odds ratio [OR] = 3.26; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.72-6.19) but not low (OR = 1.09; CI = 0.91-1.31) or high (OR = 1.09; 95% CI = 0.91-1.31) cumulative pesticide exposure. CONCLUSION: Pesticide poisoning may contribute to risk of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1013
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume48
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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