Study: Pesticides and Asthma among Farm Women

In a study published in the January 1st edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers evaluated pesticide and other occupational exposures as risk factors for adult onset asthma. A total of 25,814 farm women in the Agricultural Health Study were studied and self-reported history of doctor-diagnosed asthma with or without eczema and/or hay fever were the criteria used to create two case groups: patients with atopic asthma and those with nonatopic asthma. Findings showed that growing up on a farm was protective for atopic asthma and, to a lesser extent, for nonatopic asthma and pesticide use was almost exclusively associated with atopic asthma. The authors concluded that the finding suggested that pesticides may contribute to atopic asthma, but not nonatopic asthma, among farm women.

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