Epidemiology of organic solvents and connective tissue disease

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Case reports suggest that solvents are associated with various connective tissue diseases (systemic sclerosis, scleroderma, undifferentiated connective tissue disease, systemic lupus erythematosis, and rheumatoid arthritis), particularly systemic sclerosis. A small number of epidemiological studies have shown statistically significant but weak associations between solvent exposure, systemic sclerosis, and undifferentiated connective tissue disease. However, the interpretation of these positive findings is tempered by a lack of replication, an inability to specify which solvents convey risk, and an absence of increasing risk with increasing exposure. Existing studies, on aggregate, do not show conclusively that solvents (either as a group of chemicals or individual chemicals) are causally associated with any connective tissue disease. Further investigations should be carried out to replicate the positive existing findings and to specify the solvents and circumstances of exposure that carry risk.




Garabrant, D. H., & Dumas, C. (2000). Epidemiology of organic solvents and connective tissue disease. Arthritis Research. https://doi.org/10.1186/ar65

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