Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2024;50(1):39-48    pdf

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.4125 | Published online: 22 Oct 2023, Issue date: 01 Jan 2024

Parkinson’s disease and occupational exposure to organic solvents in Finland: a nationwide case-control study

by Sallmén M, Burstyn I, Uuksulainen S, Koskinen A, Hublin C, Sainio M

Objective This study aimed to investigate the association between Parkinson’s disease (PD) and occupational exposure to organic solvents generally and chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHC) in particular.

Methods We assembled a Finland-wide case–control study for birth years 1930–1950 by identifying incident PD cases from the register of Reimbursement of Medical Costs and drawing two controls per case using incidence density sampling from the Population Information System, matched on sex, birth year, and residency in Finland in 1980–2014. Occupation and socioeconomic status (SES) were identified from national censuses. We assessed cumulative occupational exposures via FINJEM job-exposure matrix. Smoking was based on occupation-specific prevalence by sex from national surveys. We estimated confounder-adjusted PD incidence rate ratios (IRR) via logistic regression and evaluated their sensitivity to errors in FINJEM through probabilistic bias analysis (PBA).

Results Among ever-employed, we identified 17 187 cases (16.0% potentially exposed to CHC) and 35 738 matched controls. Cases were more likely to not smoke and belong to higher SES. Cumulative exposure (CE) to CHC (per 100 ppm-years, 5-year lag) was associated with adjusted IRR 1.235 (95% confidence interval 0.986–1.547), with stronger associations among women and among persons who had more census records. Sensitivity analyses did not reveal notable associations, but stronger effects were seen in the younger birth cohort (1940–1950). PBA produced notably weaker associations, yielding a median IRR 1.097 (95% simulation interval 0.920–1.291) for CHC.

Conclusion Our findings imply that PD is unlikely to be related to typical occupational solvent exposure in Finland, but excess risk cannot be ruled out in some highly exposed occupations.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2017;43(3):197-209
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