December 2023 additions to NERDB

December 2023 additions to NERDB

NERDB is the New and emerging risks database. This bibliographic database is an initiative of Nicole Palmen and Annet Lenderink with the support of Modernet and is currently powered by Airtable.

More information on this database is on the NERDB page

We will publish regular updates on new disease-exposure combinations we added to the database on the website. Currently, we have 400 entries. Ordered by the year in which the abstract is published

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New entries:

Picture by Chris LeBoutillier via Pixabay

Spagnolo P, Ryerson CJ, Guler S, Feary J, Churg A, Fontenot AP, Piciucchi S, Udwadia Z, Corte TJ, Wuyts WA, Johannson KA, Cottin V. Occupational interstitial lung diseases. J Intern Med. 2023 Dec;294(6):798-815. doi: 10.1111/joim.13707. Epub 2023 Aug 7. PMID: 37535448.

Millions of workers are exposed to substances known to cause occupational interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), particularly in developing countries. However, the burden of the disease is likely to be underestimated due to under-recognition, under-reporting or both.

The diagnosis of occupational ILD requires a high level of suspicion and a thorough occupational history, as occupational and non-occupational ILDs may be clinically, functionally and radiologically indistinguishable, leading to delayed diagnosis and inappropriate management. A potential occupational etiology should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of ILD, as removal from workplace exposure, with or without treatment, is a key therapeutic intervention and may lead to significant improvement.

In this article, we provide an overview of the ‘traditional’ inorganic dust-related ILDs but also address idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and the immunologically mediated chronic beryllium disease, sarcoidosis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, with emphasis on the importance of surveillance and prevention for reducing the burden of these conditions. To this end, healthcare professionals should be specifically trained about the importance of occupational exposures as a potential cause of ILD.

Zhang G, E M, Zhou X. Environmental and Occupational solvents exposure and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurol Sci. 2023 Aug;44(8):2803-2809. doi: 10.1007/s10072-023-06718-8. Epub 2023 Mar 10. PMID: 36897461.

Studies focusing on the association between environmental and occupational solvent exposure and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have yielded inconsistent results. Herein we present the results of a meta-analysis on the correlation between solvent exposure and ALS. We searched for eligible studies that reported ALS with exposure to solvents in PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science up to December 2022. The Newcastle-Ottawa scale was used to evaluate the quality of the article and a meta-analysis was performed using a random effect model. Thirteen articles, including two cohort studies and 13 case-control studies with 6365 cases and 173,321 controls were selected. The odds ratio (OR) for the association between solvent exposure and ALS was 1.31 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11-1.54) with moderate heterogeneity (I2 = 59.7%; p = 0.002). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses confirmed the results, and publication bias was not detected. These results indicated that environmental and occupational solvent exposure was associated with the risk of ALS.

Feng Q, Wei J, Wang Y, Wu J, Kong H, Guo S, Liu G, Dong J, Jiang L, Li Q, Nie J, Yang J. Focusing on testosterone levels in male: A half-longitudinal study of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure and diastolic blood pressure in coke oven workers. Environ Pollut. 2023 Jul 15;329:121614. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121614. Epub 2023 Apr 20. PMID: 37087084.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can interfere with testosterone levels, and low levels of testosterone are associated with increased cardiovascular events.

To explore the role of testosterone in PAHs exposure and cardiovascular health, we used data from the 2011-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and a longitudinal database of 332 male coke oven workers from China. The urine PAHs, tobacco metabolites and plasma testosterone levels of coke oven workers were measured.

There were inverse associations between serum (plasma) testosterone concentrations and the risk of dysarteriotony and dyslipidemia among the NHANES participants and coke oven workers. The results of the cross-lagged panel analysis among workers showed that the decrease in testosterone preceded the increase in diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and the absolute value of the path coefficient from baseline testosterone to follow-up DBP (β2 = -8.162, P = 0.077) was significantly larger than the absolute value of the path coefficient from baseline DBP to follow-up testosterone (β1 = -0.001, P = 0.781).

Results from the half-longitudinal mediation analysis showed that baseline hydroxyfluorene predicted significant decreases in plasma testosterone from baseline to follow-up (path a: 0.71, 95% CI: 1.26, -0.16), whereas plasma testosterone at baseline also predicted significant increments in DBP from baseline to follow-up (path b: 9.22, 95% CI: 17.24, -1.19). The indirect effect of PAHs on DBP via plasma testosterone level was marginally significant (test for indirect effects a*b (P = 0.08)).

In conclusion, testosterone level is a longitudinal precursor to increased DBP and plays an essential role in the association between PAHs exposure and damage to the cardiovascular system. Coke oven workers with low plasma testosterone levels are more likely to experience adverse changes in blood pressure and lipid levels after exposure to PAHs.

Leung L, Lavoué J, Siemiatycki J, Guénel P, Koushik A. Occupational environment and ovarian cancer risk. Occup Environ Med. 2023 Sep;80(9):489-497. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2022-108557. Epub 2023 Jul 10. PMID: 37429725.

Objectives: To investigate employment in an occupation or industry and specific occupational exposures in relation to ovarian cancer risk.

Methods: In a population-based case-control study conducted in Montreal, Canada (2011-2016), lifetime occupational histories were collected for 491 cases of ovarian cancer and 897 controls. An industrial hygienist coded the occupation and industry of each participant’s job. Associations with ovarian cancer risk were estimated for each of several occupations and industries. Job codes were linked to the Canadian job-exposure matrix, thereby generating exposure histories to many agents. The relationship between exposure to each of the 29 most prevalent agents and ovarian cancer risk was assessed. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (OR (95% CI)) for associations with ovarian cancer risk were estimated using logistic regression and controlling for multiple covariates.

Results: Elevated ORs (95% CI) were observed for employment ≥10 years as Accountants (2.05 (1.10 to 3.79)); Hairdressers, Barbers, Beauticians and Related Workers (3.22 (1.25 to 8.27)); Sewers and Embroiderers (1.85 (0.77 to 4.45)); and Salespeople, Shop Assistants and Demonstrators (1.45 (0.71 to 2.96)); and in the industries of Retail Trade (1.59 (1.05 to 2.39)) and Construction (2.79 (0.52 to 4.83)). Positive associations with ORs above 1.42 were seen for high cumulative exposure versus never exposure to 18 agents: cosmetic talc, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, hair dust, synthetic fibers, polyester fibers, organic dyes and pigments, cellulose, formaldehyde, propellant gases, aliphatic alcohols, ethanol, isopropanol, fluorocarbons, alkanes (C5-C17), mononuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum and bleaches.

Conclusions: Certain occupations, industries, and specific occupational exposures may be associated with ovarian cancer risk. Further research is needed to provide a more solid grounding for any inferences in this regard.



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