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Potential Risk Factors for Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease Among Women: Implanted Medical Devices

Publication Abstract

Laing, T.J., D. Schottenfeld, J.V. Lacey, B.W. Gillespie, D.H. Garabrant, B.C. Cooper, Steven Heeringa, K.H. Alcser, and M.D. Mayes. 2001. "Potential Risk Factors for Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease Among Women: Implanted Medical Devices." American Journal of Epidemiology, 154:610-617.

A case-control study was conducted among 205 women in Michigan and Ohio who were diagnosed with undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) to investigate the significance of self-reported past exposures to implanted silicone-containing or non-silicone-containing medical devices. The 205 UCTD cases were compared with 2,095 controls who were sampled by random digit dialing. When silicone-containing devices, including shunts and catheters, were analyzed collectively, a significant association was observed (odds ratio (OR) = 2.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.34, 5.89). The odds ratio for exposure to breast implants was increased, but not significantly (OR = 2.22, 95% CI: 0.65, 7.57). Among the non-silicone-containing devices, artificial joints (OR = 5.01, 95% CI: 1.60, 15.71) and orthopedic metallic fixation devices (OR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.05, 3.60) were associated with UCTD. The estimations of risk associated with implanted medical devices in UCTD cases were explored in a comparison with 660 scleroderma patients who were ascertained concurrently in Michigan and Ohio. In general, the associations that were observed with non-silicone-containing devices, and more specifically with the fixation devices, persisted in the comparison of UCTD cases with scleroderma patients. The studies conducted among populations in Michigan and Ohio are intended to stimulate new hypotheses, innovative approaches, and the fostering of understanding of the environmental determinants of autoimmune disease.

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