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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
August 22/29, 2017

Professional Jobs Linked With ALS and Parkinson Disease Deaths

JAMA. 2017;318(8):691. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.10459

Contrary to conventional wisdom, more people with white-collar jobs like systems analysts or engineers die of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Parkinson disease than farmers or construction workers who are exposed to toxins linked with both diseases.

Researchers from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health analyzed state and federal data on 12.1 million US deaths to better understand the role that occupation plays in developing neurological diseases. Unlike cancer or respiratory diseases, in which some on-the-job risks like asbestos exposure are clear, work-related hazards linked with neurological disorders have largely flown under the radar.