We conducted a meta-analysis to systematically quantify the association between occupational exposure to aluminum and risk of Alzheimer disease (AD).
Electronic database searches were conducted up to March 2015 for controlled studies. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
Three retrospective case-control studies, involving 1056 participants, met the criteria for inclusion. All studies used surrogate informants to ascertain exposure. Occupational aluminum exposure was not associated with AD (odds ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.59 to 1.68), even in sensitivity analysis excluding studies with low-quality assessment scores (odds ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.36 to 3.10).
The findings of the present meta-analysis do not support a causative role of aluminum in the pathogenesis of AD. Nevertheless, in the absence of prospective studies with more precise ascertainment of exposure, a role for aluminum cannot be definitively excluded.