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S11-6 Associations between former exposure to manganese and olfaction in an elderly population: results from the HEINZ NIXDORF recall study
  1. Swaantje Casjens1,
  2. Beate Pesch2,
  3. Sibylle Robens2,
  4. Benjamin Kendzia2,
  5. Thomas Behrens2,
  6. Tobias Weiss2,
  7. Nadin Ulrich,
  8. Lewin Eisele3,
  9. Noreen Pundt3,
  10. Anja Marr3,
  11. Christoph van Thriel4,
  12. Rainer Van Gelder5,
  13. Roger Stamm5,
  14. Christian Weimar6,
  15. Martha Dlugaj6,
  16. Susanne Moebus3,
  17. Nico Dragano7,
  18. Raimund Erbel8,
  19. Karl-Heinz Jöckel3,
  20. Thomas Brüning2
  1. 1Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Bochum, Germany
  2. 2Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Bochum, Germany
  3. 3Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (IMIBE), University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
  4. 4Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), Dortmund, Germany
  5. 5Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA), Sankt Augustin, Germany
  6. 6Department of Neurology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
  7. 7Institute for Medical Sociology, Medical Faculty, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
  8. 8Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany


Background Occupational exposure to manganese (Mn) has been associated with parkinsonism. Impairment of olfaction is an early symptom of Parkinson’s disease but evidence about olfactory dysfunction in Mn-exposed subjects is missing.

Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of former occupational Mn exposure on olfaction within the framework of a prospective cohort among elderly men from a German industrial area.

Methods Data on job tasks with recognised Mn exposure and on odour identification assessed with Sniffin’ sticks were obtained during the second follow-up of the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study. The study population consisted of 1,195 men aged 55–86 years, 310 of whom ever worked in jobs with Mn exposure. Multiple exposure measures, including at-risk occupations, cumulative airborne Mn exposure, and Mn determined in blood samples (MnB) archived at baseline, were used to estimate Mn effects on olfaction adjusted for covariates.

Results Having worked as welder was associated with better olfaction compared with non-exposed blue-collar workers. Cumulative exposure to Mn > 188.8 µg/m³ years (75th percentile in exposed men) or MnB ≥ 15 µg/L (German biological reference value for workplace substances) were not associated with impaired olfaction. Next to a strong age effect, current smokers and participants with lower occupational qualification identified less odours.

Conclusions We found no association of former Mn exposure at relatively low levels with impaired olfaction.

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