Rassegna bibliografica

Vol. 71, Iss. 2, February 2014

Pesticides and other occupational exposures are associated with airway obstruction: the LifeLines cohort study


Objectives Occupational exposures are important and possibly modifiable contributors to the global burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Exposure to vapours, gases, dusts and fumes (VGDF) has been associated with a two- to threefold higher COPD risk. Less is known about effects of occupational exposure to pesticides and solvents. In the current study, we assessed if VGDF, pesticides and solvents are associated with the level of lung function and the prevalence of airway obstruction in the general population.

Methods We included 11 851 subjects aged 18–89 years from the LifeLines cohort study. Regression models assessing associations between occupational exposures (no/low/high), level of lung function (prebronchodilator FEV1, FEV1/FVC) and mild and moderate/severe airway obstruction were adjusted for sex, age, height, weight, current/ex-smoking and packyears. Additionally, we stratified by smoking status and gender and tested for interaction. A second general population cohort (n=2364) was used to verify our initial findings.

Results Occupational exposure to VGDF and pesticides was associated with a lower level of FEV1 and FEV1/FVC and with a higher prevalence of mild and moderate/severe airway obstruction in the two general populations investigated. There were no associations with exposure to solvents.

Conclusions Occupational exposure to both VGDF and pesticides is associated with airway obstruction in the general population.

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Il presente studio, realizzato da un gruppo di ricerca dell’università di Groninga (Paesi Bassi), arricchisce le attuali conoscenze inerenti le esposizioni professionali ai VDGF (vapori, gas, polveri e fumi) nell’ambito delle patologie polmonari ostruttive.

Gli autori, utilizzando i dati del LifeLines cohort study, hanno analizzato un campione di 11851 soggetti, dimostrando una prevalenza di patologie polmonari croniche ostruttive e riduzioni dei livelli di funzionalità polmonare statisticamente e clinicamente rilevanti nei soggetti professionalmente esposti ai VGDF e pesticidi, tra cui vari erbicidi ed insetticidi, all’interno di due popolazioni generali.

I risultati ottenuti sono un sicuro spunto per l’attuazione di interventi volti a ridurre i livelli di esposizione a queste sostanze nei settori occupazionali coinvolti.


airway obstruction, LifeLines cohort study, obstructive pulmonary diseases, occupational exposure, pesticides, solvents

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