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Chonnam Med J. 1996 Jun;32(1):79-88. Korean. Original Article.
Moon JD .
Department of Preventive Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.

In order to evaluate possible health effects of the exposure to pesticide on health, 100 exposed subjects from the community surrounded by the cotton field exposed to pesticide and 100 unexposed subjects from a socioeconomically similar community were selected randomly. The informations about demographic characteristics, exposure history, prevalence of 11 acute symptoms and 17 chronic symptoms, and finger-stick erythrocyte cholinesterase (AChE) activity were collected and analyzed. The mean AChE activity value for exposed group (4.9 IU/ml) was significantly lower than that of the unexposed group (5.3 IU/ml) (p<0.01). The proportion of subjects complaining of one or more subjective symptoms questioned was significantly higher for the exposed group (87%) than 53% for the unexposed group (p<0.001). The complaint rate for headache was highest among those for subjective symptoms in the exposed group. The complaint for the modified Q16 was significantly more severe for the lower AChE activity group than those for the higher AChE activity group (p<0.0001) in the exposed group. When the lower AChE activity group and nonspecific category were treated as the references for the exposure and symptom specificity respectively in the exposed group, the odds ratios for the lower AChE group were 2.55 (95% CI = 0.76-8.63) for the possible symptom category and 3.47 (95% CI = 0.91-13.03) for the probable symptom category. In conclusion, these results support that the non-occupational exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors may affect the health status adversely.

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