Two hundred eight pesticide formulators, 172 pesticide applicators, and 223 control subjects (72 from an urban region matching the pesticide formulators and 151 from a rural area matching the pesticide applicators) underwent psychiatric assessment. The study aimed to screen for psychiatric morbidity using a standardized screening tool, the General Health Questionnaire, and a widely recognized system of diagnosis and classification, the revised third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders (DSM-III-R). Significantly higher frequencies of psychiatric disorders were found in the exposed groups. The predominant diagnosis was depressive neurosis; the most frequent symptoms were irritability and erectile dysfunction. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Copyright 1997 Academic Press.