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Pesticide Use and Myocardial Infarction Incidence Among Farm Women in the Agricultural Health Study

Dayton, Shile B. MPH; Sandler, Dale P. PhD; Blair, Aaron PhD; Alavanja, Michael DrPH; Beane Freeman, Laura E. PhD; Hoppin, Jane A. ScD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 7 - p 693-697
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181e66d25
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the relationship between pesticide use and myocardial infarction (MI) among farm women.

Background: Little is known about the potential association between pesticide use and cardiovascular outcomes.

Methods: We used logistic regression to evaluate pesticide use and self-reported incident nonfatal MI among women in the Agricultural Health Study.

Results: Of those MI-free at enrollment (n = 22,425), 168 reported an MI after enrollment. We saw no association with pesticide use overall. Six of 27 individual pesticides evaluated were significantly associated with nonfatal MI, including chlorpyrifos, coumaphos, carbofuran, metalaxyl, pendimethalin, and trifluralin, which all had odds ratios >1.7. These chemicals were used by <10% of the cases, and their use was correlated, making it difficult to attribute the risk elevation to a specific pesticide.

Conclusion: Pesticides may contribute to MI risk among farm women.

From the School of Public Health (Ms Dayton), University of Nevada Reno, Reno, Nev; Epidemiology Branch (Dr Sandler, Dr Hoppin), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, NC; and Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (Dr Blair, Dr Alavanja, Dr Beane Freeman), Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Md.

CME Available for this Article at

Jane A. Hoppin and coauthors Shile B. Dayton, Dale P. Sandler, Aaron Blair, Michael Alavanja, and Laura E. Beane Freeman have no financial interest related to this research.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Address correspondence to: Jane A. Hoppin, ScD, NIEHS, Epidemiology Branch, MD A3-05, PO Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2233; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine