Lower blood malondialdehyde is associated with past pesticide exposure: findings in Gulf War illness and healthy controls.

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Mil Med Res


washington; swedish; seattle


BACKGROUND: Malondialdehyde (MDA) is a candidate general marker of oxidative stress (OS). We sought to assess the relation of MDA to Gulf War illness (GWI) and to a variety of exposures.

METHODS: This is an observational study involving subjects from Southern California recruited from October 2011 to May 2014. MDA was assessed in 81 participants (41 GWI-cases, 40 controls). General and Gulf-specific exposures were elicited. MDA case-control comparison was restricted to 40 matched pairs. The potential association between MDA and exposures was assessed using regression analyses. Gulf-specific exposures were incorporated into a case-specific model.

RESULTS: Plasma MDA was significantly lower in GWI-cases than controls. Composite pesticide and fuel-solvent exposures negatively predicted MDA in the total sample, as well as in the analyses that included either GWI-cases or controls only. Self-reported exposure to organophosphate (OP) nerve gas was a strong predictor for lower MDA level in veterans with GWI.

CONCLUSION: Past pesticide exposures predicted lower MDA in both veterans with GWI and in healthy controls.


Pathology & Laboratory Medicine