New research suggests that women on farms who come in contact with some pesticides have a greater risk of developing allergic asthma. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports:
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, non-allergic asthma is caused by factors not related to allergies. But allergic asthma -- the most common form of asthma, affecting more than 50 percent of the 20 million asthma sufferers in the United States -- is characterized by symptoms that are triggered by an allergic reaction. Some typical triggers for allergic asthma include dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mold.
Experts already knew that growing up on a farm minimizes the risk of allergic disease, that pesticides have been associated with respiratory symptoms in farmers, and that farmers are at increased risk for respiratory diseases -- including asthma -- due to exposure to grains, animals, dust and other factors.
Little research, however, has delved into respiratory risk factors for farm women.
Hoppin and her colleagues examined data on 25,814 such women in North Carolina and in Iowa who are participating in the Agricultural Health Study, a large government-funded look at the effects of environmental, occupational and other factors on the health of the agricultural population.