Increased risk of atherosclerosis associated with pesticide exposure in rural areas in Korea

Sungjin Park, Jung Ran Choi, Sung Kyung Kim, Solam Lee, Kyungsuk Lee, Jang Young Kim, Sung Soo Oh, Sang Baek Koh

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Atherosclerosis is a progressive inflammation in systemic vessels, and pesticide exposure has been emerging as its risk factor. This cross-sectional study investigated the association between pesticide exposure and the risk of atherosclerosis in a rural population in Korea using carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). This study used dataset from the baseline survey of the Korea Farmers Cohort Study between November 2005 and January 2008, and the final analysis included 477 participants. Well-structured questionnaires were used to estimate pesticide exposure. CIMT ≥ 0.9 mm was established for carotid atherosclerosis. Multiple logistic regression analyses were undertaken to evaluate the association between pesticide exposure and atherosclerosis, adjusting demographic and health-related con-founders. Even after adjustments, the increased risk of atherosclerosis was significantly associated with pesticide exposure, such as a lifetime history of farming (odds ratio [OR] 3.25 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.51–6.98), a history of using pesticide (OR 3.42 95% CI 1.63–7.16), using pesticide 10 times or more annually (OR 2.55 95% CI 1.21–5.39), and higher cumulative exposure index level (OR 3.63 95% CI 1.65–7.97). Further prospective studies are required to elucidate effects of pesticide exposure on the risk of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0232531
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was carried out with the support of "Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science & Technology Development (Project No. PJ01250901)" Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea. This research was also supported by the Medical Research Center (MRC) Program, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (2017R1A5A2015369), Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Park et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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