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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 90, Issue 5, pp 334–337 | Cite as

Occupational Risk Factors in Parkinson’s Disease

  • Joseph K. C. Tsui
  • Donald B. Calne
  • Yue Wang
  • Michael Schulzer
  • Stephen A. Marion
Article

Abstract

Background: An apparent excess of teachers and healthcare workers among the Parkinson’s disease patients of a large tertiary care movement disorders clinic suggested the hypothesis that high exposure to viral (or other) respiratory infections in these occupations might be a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease.

Methods: A case-control study of the association between occupation and Parkinson’s disease was conducted. Cases (414) were all Parkinson’s disease patients seen at the University of British Columbia Hospital Movement Disorders Clinic between 1986 and 1993, residing in Greater Vancouver, and under 65 in 1991. Controls (6,659) were randomly selected from the 1991 Canadian Census.

Findings: Parkinson’s disease was associated with teaching (OR 2.50, 95% CI 1.67–3.74) and occupation in healthcare services (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.34–3.20), but there were several other substantial associations, both positive and negative.

Interpretation: While referral bias cannot be ruled out, the authors find the consistency of the overall pattern of associations with the respiratory infection hypothesis striking.

Résumé

Contexte: un nombre démesuré d’enseignants et de travailleurs des soins de santé, parmi les personnes atteintes de la maladie de Parkinson soignées dans une grande clinique de soins tertiaires spécialisée dans les troubles moteurs, a amené à formuler l’hypothèse voulant qu’une forte exposition aux infections respiratoires d’origine virale ou autre dans ces professions pouvait constituer un facteur de risque de contraction de la maladie de Parkinson.

Méthode: Une étude cas-témoins de la corrélation existant entre la profession et la maladie de Parkinson a été effectuée. Tous les cas (414) étaient des malades atteints de la maladie de Parkinson soignés à la clinique spécialisée dans les troubles moteurs de l’hôpital de l’université de la Colombie-Britannique entre 1986 et 1993, résidant dans l’agglomération de Vancouver, et âgés de moins de 65 ans en 1991. Les témoins (6 659) avaient été choisis de façon aléatoire à partir du Recensement de la population canadienne de 1991.

Résultats: la maladie de Parkinson a été cor-relée à l’enseignement (RO 2,50, 95 % IC 1,67 - 3,74) et aux professions du secteur de la santé (RO 2,07, 95 % IC 1,34 - 3,20), mais on a constaté plusieurs autres corrélations importantes, tant positives que négatives.

Interprétation: bien que toute subjectivité ne puisse être écartée, les auteurs ont été frappés par la corrélation générale avec l’infection respiratoire.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph K. C. Tsui
    • 1
  • Donald B. Calne
    • 1
  • Yue Wang
    • 1
  • Michael Schulzer
    • 1
  • Stephen A. Marion
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurodegenerative Disorders Centre, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Purdy PavilionUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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