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Household insecticide study may encourage autoimmune disease testing

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

Household insecticides like roach and mosquito killers may play a role in the development of certain autoimmune disorders in women, research suggests.

A research team from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences examined nearly 77,000 postmenopausal women between 50- and 79-years-old, according to HealthDay News. Their study found that women who reported using insecticides has a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and lupus; those who reported the most use had double the risk of women who reported never or rarely handling the pest killers.

Previous research liked agricultural pesticides to development of the two diseases, which are caused by abnormal behavior in the immune system. Notably, farmers seem to be at a higher risk of developing the illnesses.

Though the scientists did not find a cause-and-effect relationship between exposure to insecticides and development of the diseases, the study's lead researcher Dr Christine Parks conceded, "more research on environmental risk factors and better understanding of what factors might explain these findings, what chemicals might be associated with these risks."

Parks mentioned that the potentially harmful products identified include ant, wasp, termite, mosquito and roach killers, and exclude most insect repellents.

According to WebMD, a C-reactive protein test is a blood test that can identify rheumatoid arthritis and lupus for those at risk.

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