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Anxiety and depression following cumulative low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides

Harrison, Virginia and Mackenzie Ross, Sarah (2016). Anxiety and depression following cumulative low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides. Environmental Research, 151 pp. 528–536.

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Previous research suggests that individuals with a prior history of pesticide poisoning are at increased risk of psychiatric disorder (Freire and Koifman, 2013), but findings regarding the impact of cumulative
low-level exposure are inconsistent. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether sheep farmers with a history of low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides (1) report a higher level of psychological distress on subjective symptom questionnaires, compared to unexposed controls (2) also meet internationally agreed diagnostic criteria for a psychiatric disorder more often than unexposed controls. 127 sheep farmers were evaluated and compared to 78 unexposed controls, matched in terms of gender, education, level of intelligence, working status and area of residence. Both self-report measures and structured clinical interviews were used to assess mental health. The exposed cohort reported significantly higher rates of anxiety and depression when self-report questionnaires were used to evaluate mood, even when stressful life events, demographic and physical health factors were taken into account. However, when diagnostic interviews were used to assess mood, this pattern only held true for anxiety.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN: 1096-0953
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetVM02302DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Keywords: Depression; Anxiety; Psychiatric disorder; Organophosphates; Pesticides
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC)
Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
Item ID: 47151
Depositing User: Virginia Harrison
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2016 12:35
Last Modified: 15 May 2018 15:40
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