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Occupational exposures may be linked to death from autoimmune disease
Date:9/27/2007

A new study examined the possible associations between occupation and the risk of dying from systemic autoimmune diseases and found that occupational exposures in farming and industry may be linked to higher death rates from these diseases.

More than 8 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases, in which the immune system attacks the bodys own tissues and several occupational exposures have been linked to systemic autoimmune diseases, which affect multiple organs. A new study published in the October issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis) examined the possible associations between occupation and the risk of dying from systemic autoimmune diseases and found that occupational exposures in farming and industry may be linked to higher death rates from these diseases.

Led by L.S. Gold and A.J. De Roos, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, researchers examined death certificate data from 26 states from 1984 to 1998. Any cases that listed a systemic autoimmune disease (for example, rheumatoid arthritis) as a cause of death, were included, as were disease types with a suspected systemic autoimmune disease origin (such as unspecified connective tissue disorder). Five control subjects matched by age, sex, race, year of death and geographic region were also selected. The researchers established each persons longest-held occupation from the usual occupation listed on the death certificate. In addition, they examined specific exposures based on occupation and industry. These included asbestos, solvents, benzene, pesticides and other substances. Occupations involving significant exposure to the public (such as teachers, and waiters/waitresses) or animals were also tracked.

The results showed that some occupations involving exposure to the public (such as nurses and teachers) were associated with an increased r
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Source:Eurekalert

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