Parkinson Disease Risk Increased With Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds

Exposure to water contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including trichloroethylene, is linked to an increased risk for Parkinson disease.

HealthDay News Veterans exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethylene (TCE), have an increased risk for Parkinson disease (PD), according to a study published online May 15 in JAMA Neurology.

Samuel M. Goldman, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study to examine the risk for PD among all Marines and Navy personnel who resided at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (contaminated water; 172,128 participants), or Camp Pendleton, California (uncontaminated water; 168,361 participants), for at least 3 months between 1975 and 1985. Follow-up was performed from Jan. 1, 1997, through Feb. 17, 2021. Water supplies at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with several VOCs, with the highest levels seen for TCE.

Researchers found that 430 veterans had PD: 279 and 151 from Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton (prevalence, 0.33 and 0.21%, respectively). Camp Lejeune veterans had an increased risk for PD in multivariable models (odds ratio, 1.70). For other forms of neurodegenerative parkinsonism, there was no excess risk observed. A significantly increased risk for prodromal PD diagnoses was seen for Camp Lejeune veterans, including tremor, anxiety, and erectile dysfunction, as well as higher cumulative prodromal risk scores.

“This cohort study’s findings suggest that the risk of PD is 70% higher in veterans who were exposed to TCE and other VOCs 40 years ago,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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