Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 60,
October 2009 Abstract Supplement

The 2009 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting
Philadelphia October 16-21, 2009.

Relation of the Pesticide Exposure and the Occurrence of Rheumatoid ArthritisA Cross Sectional Study of the NHANES 20052006 Data

Gorrepati1,  Venkata Subhash, Valluri1,  Ashok, Cheriyath2,  Pramil

Harrisburg Hospital: Pinnacle Health, Harrisburg, PA
Harrisburg Hospital: Pinnacle Health, Harrisburg


There is an estimate of 1.2 billion pounds of pesticide use in the United States (US) and about 5 billion pounds worldwide. Deleterious effects of pesticide on the health of the exposed are well known. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, autoimmune disorder disabling a considerable amount of US population leading to major burden on the healthcare expenditure. Some studies have shown the incidence of RA to be greater in certain occupations which involves chemical exposure. Here we hypothesize that there is an increased risk of RA in the people who were exposed to pesticide.


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) consists of demographic, physical characteristics and laboratory values of a randomly selected non institutionalized civilian US population. Presence of RA was assessed by the questions "Do you have any Arthritis?" and "if so, which type of Arthritis?" Pesticide exposure was evaluated using the questions "Products used in home to control insects?" and "Products used to kill weeds?" The analysis was done using statistical software SAS version 9.1 PROC SURVEY methods.


Out of the 10,348 participants who took part in the survey, our study consisted of 4,680 people after excluding those with age less than 20 and with a missing Body Mass Index (BMI) values. The use of pesticide was positively correlated with RA (odds ratio of 1.43, 95% CI of 1.05 to 1.96). After adjusting the model for age, gender, race, education, smoking and BM, odds ratio was still remained significant (OR of 1.39, 95% CI of 1.03 to 1.88).


Our study showed a positive association between RA and pesticide use. Based on the magnitude of use and variety of products they could be present in, pesticides should be taught to be used in caution. More research is needed to confirm this relationship and to classify the pesticides into groups depending on the strength of the association with RA.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Gorrepati, Venkata Subhash, Valluri, Ashok, Cheriyath, Pramil; Relation of the Pesticide Exposure and the Occurrence of Rheumatoid ArthritisA Cross Sectional Study of the NHANES 20052006 Data [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2009;60 Suppl 10 :392
DOI: 10.1002/art.25475

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