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Research Links Pesticides to Increased Risk of Diabetes | Streamline Winter 2016

Research Links Pesticides to Increased Risk of Diabetes | Streamline Winter 2016

A new review and analysis of 21 studies determined that pesticide exposure is associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. The findings were presented at the 51st European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting by researchers from the University of Ionnina, Greece, and Imperial College, London. 

The 21 reviewed studies covered 66,714 individual cases. The research showed that exposure to any pesticide was associated with a 61 percent increase in risk of any form of diabetes. Twelve of the studies analyzed Type II diabetes specifically, and indicated a 64 percent increase in risk. While the researchers analyzed the overall effect of pesticides, they also found an increased risk associated with exposure to the specific pesticides chlordane, DDE dieldrin, DDT, HCB, heptachlor,oxylchlordane, and trans-nonachlor.  The data indicate that environmental factors play an undervalued role in the pathogenesis of diabetes. 

“Subgroup analyses did not reveal any differences in the risk estimates based on the type of studies or the measurement of the exposure,” the researchers noted. “Analyzing each pesticide separate suggests that some pesticides are more likely to contribute to the development of diabetes than others.” The researchers intend to publish their full findings.


Analysis of 21 studies shows exposure to pesticides is associated with increased risk of developing diabetes:

Abstracts of 51st EASD Annual Meeting: