Neurocognitive, Mental Health, and Glucose Disorders in Farmers Exposed to Organophosphorus Pesticides

Open access

About 25 million agricultural workers in the developing world suffer from at least one episode of poisoning each year, mainly by anticholinesterase-like organophosphates (OPs). The objective of this cross-sectional study was to establish the OP toxicity in 187 occupationally exposed farmers in terms of neurocognitive impairment, mental health status, clinical symptoms, diabetes, and haematological factors. The exposed group was compared to 187 healthy age-, sex-, and education-matching controls. Neurocognitive impairment was measured using the Subjective Neurocognition Inventory (SNI) and mental health status using the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28). The subjects were also tested for fasting blood glucose (FBG), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), cholesterol (CL), triglycerides (TG), creatinine, oral glucose tolerance test (GTT), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). The exposed farmers showed higher FBG (p<0.001), BUN (p=0.007), CL (p<0.001), oral GTT (p<0.001), and lower AST (p<0.001), ALP (p<0.001), and creatinine (p=0.004) than controls. The rates of anxiety/ insomnia and severe depression were also significantly higher in the farmers than in controls (p=0.015 and p<0.001, respectively). Meanwhile, the rate of social dysfunction was significantly lower than in controls (p<0.001). Disorders affecting psychomotor speed, selective attention, divided attention, verbal memory, nonverbal memory, prospective memory, spatial functioning, and initiative/energy were all lower in the farmers (p<0.001). Farmers showed clinical symptoms eczema, saliva secretion, fatigue, headache, sweating, abdominal pain, nausea, superior distal muscle weakness, inferior distal muscle weakness, inferior proximal muscle weakness, breath muscle weakness, hand tingling, foot tingling, epiphoria, polyuria, miosis, dyspnoea, bradycardia, and rhinorrhoea, which all significantly correlated with the number of working years. These findings indicate that farmers who work with OPs are prone to neuropsychological disorders and diabetes.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. WHO. The Impact of Pesticides on Health: Preventing Intentional and Unintentional Deaths from Pesticide Poisoning 2004 [displayed 5 February 2013]. Available at http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/en/ PesticidesHealth2.pdf

  • 2. Jeyaratnam J. Acute pesticide poisoning: a major global health problem. World Health Stat Q 1990;43:139-44.

  • 3. Abdollahi M Ranjbar A Shadnia S Nikfar S Rezaie A. Pesticides and oxidative stress: a review. Med Sci Monit 2004;10:141-7.

  • 4. Jamshidi HR Ghahremani MR Ostad SN Sharifzadeh M Dehpour AR Abdollahi M. Effects of diazinon on the activity and gene expression of mitochondrial glutamate dehydrogenase from rat pancreatic Langerhans islets. Pest Biochem Physiol 2009; 93:23-7.

  • 5. Shadnia S Dasgar M Taghikhani S Mohammadirad A Khorasani R Abdollahi M. Protective effects of alphatocopherol and n-acetyl-cysteine on diazinon-induced oxidative stress and acetylcholinesterase inhibition in rats. Toxicol Mech Methods 2007;17:109-15.

  • 6. Rahimi R Nikfar S Abdollahi M. Increased morbidity and mortality in acute human organophosphate-poisoned patients treated by oximes: a meta-analysis of clinical trials. Hum Exp Toxicol 2006;25:157-62.

  • 7. Mohammadi H Karimi G Rezayat SM Dehpour AR Shafiee H Nikfar S Baeeri M Sabzevari O Abdollahi M. Benefit of nanocarrier of magnetic magnesium in rat malathioninduced toxicity and cardiac failure using non-invasive monitoring of electrocardiogram and blood pressure. Toxicol Ind Health 2011;27:417-29.

  • 8. Shojaei Saadi H Abdollahi M. The importance of pesticides effects on human reproduction in farmers. Int J Pharmacol 2012;8: 467-9.

  • 9. Pournourmohammadi S Ostad SN Azizi E Ghahremani MH Farzami B Minaie B Larijani B Abdollahi M. Induction of insulin resistance by malathion: evidence for disrupted islets cells metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction. Pest Biochem Physiol 2007;88:346-52.

  • 10. Shafiee H Mohammadi H Rezayat SM Hosseini A Baeeri M Hassani S Mohammadirad A Bayrami Z Abdollahi M. Prevention of malathion-induced depletion of cardiac cells mitochondrial energy and free radical damage by a magnetic magnesium-carrying nanoparticle. Toxicol Mech Methods 2010;20:538-43.

  • 11. Soltaninejad K Abdollahi M. Current opinion on the science of organophosphate pesticides and toxic stress: A systematic review. Med Sci Monit 2009;15:75-90.

  • 12. Mostafalou S Abdollahi M. Current concerns on genotoxicity of pesticides. Int J Pharmacol 2012;8:473-4.

  • 13. Mostafalou S Abdollahi M. Concerns of environmental persistence of pesticides and human chronic diseases. Clin Exp Pharmacol 2012;S5:e002.

  • 14. Rahimi R Nikfar S Larijani B Abdollahi M. A review on the role of antioxidants in the management of diabetes and its complications. Biomed Pharmacother 2005;59:365-73.

  • 15. Mostafalou S Abdollahi M. The role of environmental pollution of pesticides in human diabetes. Int J Pharmacol 2012;8:139-40.

  • 16. Wild S Roglic G Green A Sicree R King H. Global prevalence of diabetes: estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030. Diabetes Care 2004;27:1047-53.

  • 17. Rahimi R Abdollahi M. A review on the mechanisms involved in hyperglycemia induced by organophosphorus pesticides. Pestic Biochem Physiol 2007;88:115-21.

  • 18. Abdollahi M Donyavi M Pournourmohammadi S Saadat M. Hyperglycemia associated with increased hepatic glycogen phosphorylase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase in rats following subchronic exposure to malathion. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2004;137:343-7.

  • 19. Ansari G Mojtahedzadeh M Kajbaf F Najafi A Khajavi MR Khalili H Rouini MR Ahmadi H Abdollahi M. How does blood glucose control with metformin influence intensive insulin protocols? Evidence for involvement of oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokines. Adv Ther 2008;25:681-702.

  • 20. Mostafalou S Eghbal MA Nili-Ahmadabadi A Baeeri M Abdollahi M. Biochemical evidence on the potential role of organophosphates in hepatic glucose metabolism toward insulin resistance through inflammatory signalling and free radical pathways. Toxicol Ind Health 2012;28:840-51.

  • 21. Teimouri F Amirkabirian N Esmaily H Mohammadirad A Aliahmadi A Abdollahi M. Alteration of hepatic cells glucose metabolism as a non-cholinergic detoxication mechanism in counteracting diazinon-induced oxidative stress. Hum Exp Toxicol 2006;25:697-703.

  • 22. Panahi P Vosough-Ghanbari S Pournourmohammadi S Ostad SN Nikfar S Minaie B Abdollahi M. Stimulatory effects of malathion on the key enzymes activities of insulin secretion in Langerhans islets glutamate dehydrogenase and glucokinase. Toxicol Mech Methods 2006;16:161-7.

  • 23. Amirkabirian N Teimouri F Esmaily H Mohammadirad A Aliahmadi A Abdollahi M. Protection by pentoxifylline of diazinon-induced toxic stress in rat liver and muscle. Toxicol Mech Methods 2007;17:215-21.

  • 24. Vosough-Ghanbari S Sayyar P Pournourmohammadi S Aliahmadi A Ostad SN Abdollahi M. Stimulation of insulin and glucagon synthesis in rat Langerhans islets by malathion in vitro: Evidence for mitochondrial interaction and involvement of subcellular non-cholinergic mechanisms. Pestic Biochem Physiol 2007;89:130-6.

  • 25. Pourkhalili N Pournourmohammadi S Rahimi F Vosough- Ghanbari S Baeeri M Ostad SN Abdollahi M. Comparative effects of calcium channel blockers autonomic nervous system blockers and free radical scavengers on diazinoninduced hyposecretion of insulin from isolated islets of Langerhans in rats. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2009;60:157-64.

  • 26. Bayrami M Hashemi T Malekirad AA Ashayeri H Faraji F Abdollahi M. Electroencephalogram cognitive state psychological disorders clinical symptom and oxidative stress in horticulture farmers exposed to organophosphate pesticides. Toxicol Ind Health 2012;28:90-6.

  • 27. Abdollahi M Karami-Mohajeri S. A comprehensive review on experimental and clinical findings in intermediate syndrome caused by organophosphate poisoning. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2012;258:309-14.

  • 28. Mendola P Selevan SG Gutter S Rice D. Environmental factors associated with a spectrum of neurodevelopmental deficits. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev 2002;8:188-97.

  • 29. Ranjbar A Ghahremani MH Sharifzadeh M Golestani A Ghazi-Khansari M Baeeri M Abdollahi M. Protection by pentoxifylline of malathion-induced toxic stress and mitochondrial damage in rat brain. Hum Exp Toxicol 2010;29:851-64.

  • 30. Rezvanfar MA Rezvanfar MA Ranjbar A Baeeri M Mohammadirad A Abdollahi M. Biochemical evidence on positive effects of rolipram a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor in malathion induced toxic stress in rat blood and brain mitochondria. Pestic Biochem Physiol 2010;98:135-43.

  • 31. Karami-Mohajeri S Abdollahi M. Toxic influence of organophosphate carbamate and organochlorine pesticides on cellular metabolism of lipids proteins and carbohydrates. Hum Exp Toxicol 2011;30:1119-40.

  • 32. Abdollahi M Mostafalou S Pournourmohammadi S Shadnia S. Oxidative stress and cholinesterase inhibition in saliva and plasma of rats following subchronic exposure to malathion. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2004;137:29-34.

  • 33. Pancetti F Olmos C Dagnino-Subiabre A Rozas C Morales B. Noncholinesterase effects induced by organophosphate pesticides and their relationship to cognitive processes: implication for the action of acylpeptide hydrolase. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev 2007;10:623-30.

  • 34. Gupta RC. Toxicology of Organophosphate and Carbamate Compounds. San Diego (CA): Elsevier Academic Press; 2009.

  • 35. Jokanović M Kosanović M. Neurotoxic effects in patients poisoned with organophosphorus pesticides. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2010;29:195-201.

  • 36. Moritz S Ferahli S Naber D. Memory and attention performance in psychiatric patients lack of correspondence between clinician-rated and patient-rated functioning with neuropsychological test results. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 2004;10:623-33.

  • 37. Goldbeg D Williams PA. A User’s Guide to the General Health Questionnaire. Windsor: NEFR-Nelson; 1988.

  • 38. Zimmermann P Messner C Poser U Sedelmeier P. Ein Fragebogen erlebter Defizite der Aufmerksamkeit (FEDA) [A questionnaire measuring self-experienced deficits of attention in German]. Freiburg: PsychologischesInstitut der Universitat Freiburg; 1991.

  • 39. Singh VK Jyoti Reddy MM Kesavachandran C Rastogi SK Siddiqui MK. Biomonitoring of organochlorines glutathione lipid peroxidation and cholinesterase activity among pesticide sprayers in mango orchards. Clin Chim Acta 2007;377:268-72.

  • 40. Rothlein J Rohlman DS Lasarev M Phillips J Muniz J McCauley L. Organophosphate pesticide exposure and neurobehavioral performance in agricultural and nonagricultural Hispanic workers. Environ Health Perspect 2006;114:691-6.

  • 41. Rohlman DS Lasarev M Anger WK Scherer J Stupfel J McCauley L. Neurobehavioral performance of adult and adolescent agricultural workers. Neurotoxicology 2007;28:374-80.

  • 42. Davies DR Ahmed GM Freer T. Chronic organophosphate induced neuropsychiatric disorder (COPIND): Results of two postal questionnaire surveys. J Nutr Environ Med 1999;9:123-34.

  • 43. Rosenstock L Keifer M Daniell WE McConnell R Claypoole K. Chronic central nervous system effects of acute organophosphate pesticide intoxication. Lancet 1991;338:223-7.

  • 44. Fiedler N Kipen H Kelly-McNeil K Fenske R. Long-term use of organophosphates and neuropsychological performance. Am J Ind Med 1997;32:487-96.

  • 45. Rezg R Mornagui B Kamoun A El-Fazaa S Gharbi N. Effect of subchronic exposure to malathion on metabolic parameters in the rat. C R Biol 2007;330:143-7.

  • 46. Alonso-Magdalena P Ropero AB Soriano S Quesada I Nadal A. Bisphenol-A: a new diabetogenic factor? Hormones (Athens) 2010;9:118-26.

  • 47. Lee DH Steffes MW Sjodin A Jones RS Needham LL Jacobs DR Jr. Low dose of some persistent organic pollutants predicts type 2 diabetes: a nested case-control study. Environ Health Perspect 2010;118:1235-42.

  • 48. Lee DH Steffes MW Sjodin A Jones RS Needham LL Jacobs DR Jr. Low dose organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls predict obesity dyslipidemia and insulin resistance among people free of diabetes. PLoS One 2011;6:e15977.

  • 49. Mostafalou S Abdollahi M. The role of environmental pollution of pesticides in human diabetes. Int J Pharmacol 2012;8:139-40.

  • 50. Pakzad M Fouladdel S Nili-Ahmadabadi A Pourkhalili N Baeeri M Azizi E Sabzevari O Ostad SN Abdollahi M. Sublethal exposures of diazinon alters glucose homostasis in Wistar rats: Biochemical and molecular evidences of oxidative stress in adipose tissues. Pestic Biochem Physiol 2013;105:57-61

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.436
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.606

CiteScore 2018: 1.53

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.358
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.608

Cited By
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 556 391 16
PDF Downloads 230 174 7