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Parkinson’s Disease: Acute Risk in Agricultural Areas

10 Apr 2018 | By INSERM (Newsroom) | France | International | International day

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A study published in the Bulletin épidémiologique hebdomadaire (BEH – Weekly Epidemiology Report) for World Parkinson’s Day suggests that the risk of developing the disease is higher in people who live in farming districts.

A national study, published in the BEH devoted to the epidemiology of Parkinson’s disease in France, is researching the incidence of Parkinson’s disease in relation to the agricultural characteristics of French districts. Two Inserm researchers, Sofiane Kab and Alexis Elbaz (Inserm/Santé Publique France) are participating in the study.

By analyzing the French state health insurance’s SNIIRAM database, this national study confirms that Parkinson’s disease is associated with professional exposure to pesticides, a fact that has already been revealed by several studies. This has made it possible to observe that Parkinson’s disease occurs more frequently among those affiliated to the social security body for agricultural workers (Mutualité Sociale Agricole), particularly farmers, than among affiliates of other national health insurance plans.

On top of this, the results suggest that non-professional pesticide exposure related to environmental exposure, for example, could also increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. The number of cases of Parkinson’s disease that can be attributed to pesticide exposure is thought to surpass professional exposure.

These results do need to be confirmed by complementary studies.

Yet they tend to confirm that the incidence of Parkinson’s disease in the general population is higher in the most highly agricultural districts, especially viticultural districts.

Researcher Contact

Alexis Elbaz

Directeur de recherche Inserm

Responsable de l’équipe “épidémiologie du vieillissement et des maladies liées à l’âge”

Unité 1018 Centre de recherche en épidémiologie et santé des populations

+33 (0) 1 45 59 53 70


Sofiane Kab

Chercheur Inserm

Unité 1018 Centre de recherche en épidémiologie et santé des populations

Équipe “épidémiologie du vieillissement et des maladies liées à l’âge”


Press Contact



Incidence de la maladie de Parkinson chez les agriculteurs et en population générale en fonction des caractéristiques agricoles des cantons français

Sofiane Kab1,2, Frédéric Moisan1, Johan Spinosi1,3, Laura Chaperon1,3, Alexis Elbaz1,2
1 Santé publique France, Saint-Maurice, France
2 Université Paris-Saclay, Univ. Paris-Sud, UVSQ, CESP, Inserm, Villejuif, France
3 Univ Lyon, Univ Lyon 1, IFSTTAR, UMRESTTE, UMR_T9405, Lyon, France