The Association between Pesticide Exposure and Neurological Signs and Symptoms in Farmers in Magelang District, Central Java, Indonesia
Keywords:pesticide exposure, cholinesterase level, neuropathy, tremors
BACKGROUND: Excessive use of pesticides is known to cause neurotoxicity. Chronic effects of pesticide poisoning include neuropathy and tremors.
AIM: This study aimed to determine the association between pesticide exposure and the occurrence of neurological signs and symptoms, especially neuropathy and tremor, in farmers.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study. The study location was Seloprojo Village, Ngablak District, Magelang Regency, Central Java Province. Farmers as subjects were recruited to determine neuropathy using Diabetic Neuropathy Symptom (DNS) and Diabetic Neuropathy Examination (DNE) scoring. Tremor events were measured with Tremor Rating Scale (TRS). Cholinesterase levels were examined using venous blood samples to determine the level of pesticide poisoning.
RESULTS: Of the 120 farmers studied, 68.3% experienced pesticide poisoning with cholinesterase levels below normal values. Weakness of the upper limb was found in 10 subjects (8.33%), while weakness of the lower limbs was found in 6 subjects (5%). There were 59.2% farmers who met the neuropathy criteria from the DNS score and those who met the neuropathic criteria from the DNE score were 6.7%. Tremor symptoms were found in 71.7% of the farmers. There was no significant association between cholinesterase levels and DNS score (p = 0.737), but there were significantly lower levels of cholinesterase (p = 0.046) in the neuropathy group measured with DNE score. There was no significant association between cholinesterase levels and TRS (p = 0.204).
CONCLUSION: Cholinesterase levels were significantly associated with neuropathy incidence measured with DNE criteria but statistically not related to tremors in farmers exposed to pesticides.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Ismail Setyopranoto, Ibnu Widya Argo, Aulia Fitri Ramadhani, Ery Kus Dwianingsih, Whisnu Nalendra Tama, Abdul Gofir, Cempaka Thursina Srie Setyaningrum, Andre Stefanus Panggabean, Sri Sutarni, Rusdy Ghazali Malueka (Author)
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