A Research Update from the Agricultural Health Study: Recent Findings, Current Work, and Future Plans
It has been over 25 years since participants first enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) cohort; in 1993-97, a total of 89,655 individuals joined the study, including 52,394 private pesticide applicators (mostly farmers) and 32,345 of their spouses from North Carolina and Iowa, and 4,916 commercial applicators from Iowa. The cohort has been followed through 3 surveys (1999-2003, 2005-2010, and 2012-2015) and regular linkages to databases to assess both cancer and non-cancer health outcomes, such as respiratory, autoimmune, endocrine, and neurological diseases. Participants provided detailed data on pesticide use and other agricultural exposures at enrollment and in the first two follow-up surveys, and numerous research papers have investigated potential disease associations. Many participants have also contributed to special studies, including recent projects on Lung Health, Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect, and Memory and Aging. This presentation will highlight a selection of recent findings from the AHS (i.e., in the past 5 years), including a focus on non-cancer outcomes as well as recent cancer and mortality findings, and will describe current and future research priorities.
At the end of this webinar participants will be able to:
- An overview of the study design and the assessment of exposures and health outcomes
- Scope of research and selected findings on non-cancer health outcomes
- Highlights of recent mortality and cancer findings
- Description of current and future research priorities
Christine G. Parks, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist and a Principal Investigator on the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Dr. Parks has Ph.D. in Epidemiology and has worked at the NIEHS and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, with a primary research focus on risk factors for autoimmunity and autoimmune diseases, as well as women’s health, stress, and aging. In the AHS, she studies pesticides and other agricultural risk factors for systemic autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. She is also overseeing the 4th follow-up survey and assessment of non-cancer outcomes in the cohort and supports other AHS researchers on a variety of topics, such as thyroid disorders and neurological disease.