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new study finds no association between welding and parkinson's disease

updated tue 17 may 05


Sally McLeod on mon 16 may 05

Just received this information and thought I'd pass it along.

Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2005 9:09 AM
Subject: Fwd: New Study Finds No Association Between Welding and Parkinson's Disease; ...

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Date:Sat, 14 May 2005 03:52:34 -0500From:"John Cottingham" Subject:New Study Finds No Association Between Welding and Parkinson's Disease; First Epi-Cohort Study to Focus on Welders Confirms Welders Not at Increased Risk of Neurodegenerative DisordersTo:PARKINSN@LISTSERV.UTORONTO.CA
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The source of this article is Business Wire: 12, 2005 02:58 PM US Eastern TimezoneNew Study Finds No Association Between Welding and Parkinson's Disease;First Epi-Cohort Study to Focus on Welders Confirms Welders Not atIncreased Risk of Neurodegenerative DisordersWASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 12, 2005--The Welding Information Centerannounced today that an important new epidemiological study published inthe May 2005 issue of the Journal of Occupational and EnvironmentalMedicine concludes that there is no link between welding or exposure towelding fumes and an increased risk of Parkinson's disease or any othersimilar neurodegenerative disorder. Entitled "A Cohort Study of Parkinson'sDisease and Other Neurodegenerative Disorders in Danish Welders," it is thefirst epidemiological cohort study of Parkinson's disease and otherneurodegenerative disorders undertaken among men employed as welders.Dr. Mark Roberts, Fellow and Board Member of the American College
ofOccupational and Environmental Medicine, stated, "This is an excellentstudy that provides important information about the health of welders. Itis the largest cohort study to date to look at the issue of welding andParkinson's disease and other parkinsonisms. It has a well-defined studypopulation, excellent long-term follow-up and is the only cohort study tolook at the rate of incidence of Parkinson's disease in this context. Theresults of this study show that welders in this large population are not atan increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease or other similarmovement disorders."The cohort of 27,839 males identified as working in metals manufacturing,were drawn from all Danish males with hospitalization and out-patientrecords from the period 1977 through 2002. 9,817 of these men worked indepartments where welding occurred, and 6,163 of those in such departmentswere classified as actual welders. The standardized disease-specifichospitalization ratio (SHR) incidence of
Parkinson's disease in these threegroups was then compared to the SHRs for the same diseases in the generalpopulation. The resulting SHRs for Parkinson's disease were .9 for allworkers in metals manufacturing, 1.0 for those in welding departments, and.9 for welders themselves. An SHR below 1.0 indicates the studied cohortwas less likely to contract the disease than the general public, an SHR of1.0 means the risk is the same as the general public, and an SHR above 1.0suggests an increased risk for the studied group. Similar non-associationSHRs were computed for the other neurodegenerative diseases.The study concluded "this cohort of Danish welders with more than 20 yearsof systematic follow-up had rates of PD and other neurological conditionsconsistent with those of the general population of Denmark," and notes itsclinical significance by saying, "this relatively large cohort study offersassurances that men in mild and stainless steel welding do not haveincreased hospitalizations for

PD or other neurodegenerative disorders."The lead author of the study was epidemiologist Dr. Jon Fryzek of theInternational Epidemiological Institute, in Rockville MD. A grant fundingthis research was provided by a group of current and former manufacturersof welding consumables.About The Welding Information CenterThe Welding Information Center is sponsored by current and formermanufacturers and distributors of welding rods. The purpose of the site isto educate the public about the importance of welding to our society. Bygathering and providing access in one place to notable publications,articles and other materials which detail everything from welding'sremarkable history and numerous contributions to our economy, to currentwelding rod litigation and other issues, the site offers visitors a broadoverview of the key facts that form a basis for understanding welding andits important role in all our lives. For additional information visit