Occupation, education, and Parkinson's disease: A case-control study in an Italian population



Current epidemiologic data on the association between occupational exposures and Parkinson's disease (PD) are inconsistent. In a case-control study, we investigated the associations between occupation and PD and between education and PD. The cases (n = 62) were those identified in a prevalence survey (door-to-door, two-phase) of three Sicilian municipalities, as of November 1, 1987. We then randomly selected from the general population two controls for each case, matched for age (±1 year), sex, and municipality (n = 124). Information on current and past occupations and education for cases and controls was obtained during the survey. Subjects who worked for most of their lives as farmers were not at increased risk of PD (OR = 0.6; 95% CI = 0.3–1.3). Neither were subjects who worked for most of their lives in other occupations (e.g., housewives, fishermen, factory workers, salesmen, craftsmen, clerks). PD was not associated with low education. Our findings suggest that farming, as a broad occupational category, does not play a major role in the causation of PD.