Exposure to pesticides and the prevalence of diabetes in a rural population in Korea

Sungjin Park, Sung Kyung Kim, Jae Yeop Kim, Kyungsuk Lee, Jung Ran Choi, Sei Jin Chang, Choon Hee Chung, Kyu Sang Park, Sung Soo Oh, Sang Baek Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Among the adverse health effects of exposure to pesticides, an association with diabetes has been reported. However, there is a lack of epidemiologic studies on the health effects of exposure to pesticides, particularly investigating the association between occupational pesticide exposure and diabetes prevalence. Purpose: The present study examined the association between pesticide exposure and prevalence of diabetes in a rural population in Korea. Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the Korea Farmers Cohort study, and included 2559 participants in the baseline survey between November 2005 and January 2008. We performed a clinical examination including blood sampling and assessed data on diabetes diagnosis, demographics, and pesticide exposure. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between pesticide exposure and diabetes prevalence, adjusting for age, sex, monthly income, and marital status. In addition, a stratified analysis by body mass index (BMI) was conducted, with two categories: normal weight (<25 kg/m 2 ) and overweight or obese (≥25 kg/m 2 ). Results: At baseline, the prevalence of diabetes was 9.30%. Pesticide exposure was associated with the risk of diabetes after adjustment for covariates. In the analysis stratified by BMI, all the variables related to pesticide exposure were associated with prevalence of diabetes in the overweight or obese group, whereas no significant association was found in the normal weight group. Conclusion: Exposure to pesticides was associated with diabetes, and this association was stronger in overweight or obese individuals than in normal weight individuals. Further longitudinal studies that consider information on BMI are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea ( NRF-2016S1A5B8925203 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology


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