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AAN: Occupational Exposure to Diesel Exhaust Tied to ALS Risk

Increased odds of ALS for men in the highest quartile of exposure for five- and 10-year lag periods

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There is a correlation for increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with increased occupational exposures to diesel exhaust (DE), according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 21 to 27 in Los Angeles.

Aisha Dickerson, Ph.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues identified 1,639 ALS cases from 1982 to 2013 from a Danish registry. For each case, 100 birth year- and sex-matched controls were selected. Using a job exposure matrix, cumulative DE exposures prior to index dates were estimated; cumulative exposure was calculated considering different lag periods.

The researchers found that for men with any occupational exposure to DE, the odds ratio for ALS increased with increasing lag periods and was significant using a 10-year lag (adjusted odds ratio, 1.20). For men with >50 percent probability of DE exposure, the results were stronger. Men in the highest quartile of exposure had increased odds of ALS compared to those with no exposure for both the five- and 10-year lag periods (adjusted odds ratios, 1.34 and 1.46, respectively).

“The overall risk of developing ALS is low, but our findings suggest that the greater the exposure to diesel exhaust, the greater the risk of developing ALS,” Dickerson said in a statement.

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