Impact of dietary exposure to food contaminants on the risk of Parkinson's disease

Maria Skaalum Petersen, Jónrit Halling, Sára Bech, Lene Wermuth, Pál Magni Weihe, Flemming Nielsen, Poul J. Jørgensen, Esben Budtz-Jørgensen, Philippe Grandjean

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    87 Citations (Scopus)


    This study aimed to investigate the association of Parkinson's disease (PD) with dietary exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methylmercury (MeHg) in a community with increased exposure levels. A total of 79 clinically verified idiopathic PD cases and 154 controls matched by sex and age were examined in this case–control study in the Faroe Islands. Blood and hair samples were collected and a questionnaire recorded lifetime information on residence, dietary habits, smoking history, and occupational exposure to solvents, pesticides, and metals. Both unconditional and conditional logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) in regard to relevant exposure variables. Increased ORs for dietary intakes of whale meat and blubber during adult life were statistically significant. The ORs for occupational exposure to solvents, pesticides and metals also suggested an increased risk for PD. Current serum concentrations of ∑PCB and related contaminants suggested slightly increased ORs, although only β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH) was statistically significant. Increased intake of whale meat and blubber in adult life was significantly associated with PD, thus suggesting a positive association between previous exposure to marine food contaminants and development of PD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)584-590
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


    • Diet
    • environmental exposure
    • methylmercury compounds
    • polychlorinated biphenyls
    • Faroe Islands
    • Parkinsons-disease
    • Parkinsons


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