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A meta-analysis, involving the secondary analysis of original data from 11 case-control studies of Alzheimer's disease, is presented for occupational exposures to solvents and lead. Three studies had data on occupational exposure to solvents. Among cases, 21.3% were reported to have been exposed; among controls, this figure was comparable (20.9%). This yielded a pooled matched relative risk of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.47-1.23). Four studies had data on exposure to lead. Exposure frequencies were 6.1% in cases and 8.3% in controls. This resulted in a pooled matched relative risk of 0.71 (95% CI: 0.36-1.41). The meta-analysis was particularly useful in validating negative results from individual studies and in increasing the statistical power for the analysis of lead exposure, where stratum-specific cell sizes were frequently smaller than five in individual studies. However, since exposure in the various studies was ascertained in a rather broad manner, prospective studies are recommended which focus on high-risk occupational populations and which determine the incidence of Alzheimer's disease in these and comparable unexposed populations.


Journal article


Int J Epidemiol

Publication Date



20 Suppl 2


S58 - S61


Alzheimer Disease, Case-Control Studies, Humans, Lead Poisoning, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Occupational Diseases, Risk Factors, Solvents, United States