Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine agricultural risk factors for chronic bronchitis among nonsmoking farm women.
Methods: We used self-reported enrollment data from the 21,541 nonsmoking women in the Agricultural Health Study to evaluate occupational risk factors for prevalent chronic bronchitis among farm women. Odds ratios (ORs) for chronic bronchitis for occupational exposures were adjusted for age, state, and related agricultural exposures.
Results: Applying manure and driving combines were independently associated with chronic bronchitis. Off-farm job exposures associated with chronic bronchitis were organic dusts, asbestos, gasoline, and solvents. Five pesticides were associated with chronic bronchitis after multivariate adjustment and sensitivity analyses: dichlorvos (OR=1.63, 95% CI=1.01, 2.61), DDT (OR=1.67, 95% CI=1.13, 2.47), cyanazine (OR=1.88, 95% CI=1.00, 3.54), paraquat (OR=1.91, 95% CI=1.02, 3.55), and methyl bromide (OR=1.82, 95% CI=1.02, 3.24).
Conclusion: Pesticides as well as grain and dust exposures were associated with chronic bronchitis among nonsmoking farm women.