Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
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Pesticides offer a variety of benefits to the society such as increased crop production and decreased insect infestations.
However, when used improperly, pesticides have the potential for causing harm. Approximately, 10,000-20,000 physician-diagnosed pesticide poisonings occur each year among US agricultural workers. Although banned in the US in 1973, DDT, an
organochlorine pesticide finds its way into the food chain as it is used in many parts of the world. The purpose of the study was
to examine the health effects of DDT in a predominantly African American population who were exposed to highest levels of
DDT in the US by consumption of DDT- contaminated fish. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 234 African Americans.
Logistic Regression was used to calculate risk of morbidity from consumption of DDT- contaminated fish. Serum proteomic
study included 21 breast cancer cases and 29 controls. Protein expression data was obtained by 2D DIGE analysis. Differentially
expressed DIGE spots were excised for protein identification. Spots were digested with trypsin and the peptides were identified by
QTOF LC/MS/MS or MALDI TOF analysis. Results: A non-significant increase in risk for hypertension in those who consumed
DDT contaminated fish was observed (OR 1.672; 95% CI 0.324-8.628). Serum proteomic study yielded significantly increased
levels of fibrinogen gamma in exposed individuals. Gamma fibrinogen is associated with increased risk of coronary artery
disease. Future efforts will focus on validation of gamma fibrinogen in DDT exposed individuals. Funded by Susan G. Komen
for the cure.
Padma P. Tadi Uppala, PhD is an Associate Professor and Head of the Environmental and Occupational Health Section in the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University. Uppala earned her Ph.D. in Biology with a primary focus on chemical carcinogenesis from Loma Linda University and obtained postdoctoral training in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Riverside. Uppala?s research investigates the contribution of environmental factors to breast cancer. She has authored scientific publications in the area of biomarkers for breast cancer. Uppala has received several competitive awards, including the American Association for Cancer Research/HBCU Faculty Scholar Award in Cancer Research.
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