A spatial correlation analysis of broad scale use of agricultural pesticides and infant health outcomes in the United States

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Title: A spatial correlation analysis of broad scale use of agricultural pesticides and infant health outcomes in the United States
Authors: Kirby, Christopher E
Date: 2007
Abstract: Introduction. Birth defects and low birth weight/preterm delivery are the leading causes of a infant mortality in the United States. However, their etiologies remain mostly unknown. There is evidence suggestive of a link between exposure to pesticides and reduced infant health. We sought to answer the question of whether spatial variation in the incidence of infant mortality in the general population is correlated with variation in agricultural pesticide use. Methods. We examined the variation during 1996--2001 among 48 U.S. states of rates of infant mortality due to birth defects, and rates of infant mortality due to low birth weight or preterm delivery. We also examined the incidence of 41 specific birth defects through 1989--2001 in 33 states. We related these variables to the rate of agricultural pesticide use per state. Results. After controlling for socio-economic and behavioural risk factors, among-state variation in the rate of pesticide use accounted for over one quarter of the variation in infant mortality rates due to birth defects (r2=0.29). We did not find a significant relationship between pesticide use and infant mortality due to low birth weight/preterm delivery. Conclusion. Our results support the hypothesis that adverse effects on infant health in the general population are associated with broad scale pesticide use. To overcome the inferential limitations of this study, further research using individual exposure and outcome data is needed.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/27466
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-12094
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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