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.