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Respiratory diseases and pesticide exposure: a case-control study in Lebanon
  1. Pascale Salameh1,
  2. Mirna Waked2,
  3. Isabelle Baldi3,
  4. Patrick Brochard3,
  5. Bernadette Abi Saleh1
  1. 1Lebanese University, Lebanon
  2. 2Balamand University, Lebanon
  3. 3ISPED, Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2 University, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Salameh
 Jdeidet El Meten, Chalet Suisse Street, Ramza Azzam bldg, 5th floor, Beirut, Lebanon; pascalesalameh{at}


Study objective: To evaluate the odds of being exposed to pesticides in asthmatic adults.

Design: A case-control study was performed in Lebanon.

Setting: People were approached when consulting physicians as outpatients.

Patients: Asthmatic patients and non-asthmatic controls in several Lebanese hospitals were interviewed.

Main results: The study included 407 subjects from 10 medical centres. Any exposure to pesticides was associated to asthma (OR = 2.11 (1.47 to 3.02); p<10−4). Occupational use presented the highest association (OR = 4.98 (1.07 to 23.28); p = 0.02), followed by regional exposure (OR 3.51 (2.11 to 5.85); p<10−4). Results were confirmed by multivariate analysis, particularly for regional exposure (ORa = 2.78; p = 0.02) and house exposure (ORa = 2.17; p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Results are comparable to those found in other studies; especially for occupational exposure. Pesticides toxicological effects may explain chronic respiratory symptoms and asthma associations found with all exposure types. Pesticide exposure was associated with asthma in Lebanese adults.

  • pesticides
  • non-occupational exposure
  • respiratory disease
  • asthma
  • adults

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  • Funding: Lebanese National Centre of Scientific Research; grant number: 3750/o

  • Conflicts of interest: none.

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