Playing golf, gardening and other outdoor hobbies increases the risk of developing ALS: How is this possible?

Playing golf, gardening and other outdoor hobbies increases the risk of developing ALS: How is this possible?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a terrible disease that remains fatal. Until now no one knows why. But now scientists think they've discovered something: there appears to be a link between outdoor hobbies, such as golf and gardening, and the disease in men.

Researchers from the University of Michigan discovered this after conducting extensive interviews with four hundred ALS patients and three hundred healthy people, which focused mainly on non-work-related activities. Researchers Discover There is a clear link between a large number of outdoor hobbies and an increased risk of developing the progressive muscle disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). However, the association was only found in men, although this may be because too few women participated in the study.

Hobby and work
“We know from previous research that risk factors at work are associated with an increased risk of developing ALS, such as production work in some industries. Our new research shows that hobbies that people spend a lot of time on can contribute to It also increases the risk of developing the disease.” “This knowledge is the first step to reducing risk factors. We hope that we can eventually use these ideas to reduce the risk of developing ALS. This mainly concerns some outdoor activities. “It is important to conduct more research on these recreational activities in the context of preventing, diagnosing, and treating ALS in the future.”

Golf and gardening
Outdoor golf in particular appears to increase the risk of developing ALS. Men who regularly walked the golf course were three times more likely to develop ALS than non-golfers. But gardening, carpentry and hunting also increase the risk of contracting this terrible disease. At least in men, no link has been found between hobbies and ALS in women. “Surprisingly, the risk factors we identified only apply to men,” says Gottman. “Although these activities may also increase the risk of ALS in women, the number of women in our study was too small to reach this conclusion.”

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The question, of course, is how something as innocent as golf could increase the risk of ALS. Scientists believe pesticides are the culprit. Their findings add to the growing body of evidence showing that exposure to toxins can cause a wide range of harm. For example, pesticides have long been linked to Parkinson's disease, a relatively common disease among farmers who work with pesticides.

According to Gottman, hobbies like golfing and gardening can involve the same types of risks, because many pesticides are used to make the grass on a golf course as perfect as possible, for example. A previous study suggested that professional golfers and gardeners are at greater risk of developing ALS.

Extensive studies on the consequences of woodworking suggest that exposure to formaldehyde may increase the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis later in life. “Our goal is to understand which occupations and hobbies increase the risk of developing ALS, because identifying these activities is the first step toward prevention,” explains researcher Eva Feldman. “For a disease like Alzheimer's, we know that a list of factors — including smoking, obesity and plaque in the arteries — can increase your risk by 40 percent. Our goal is to create a similar list for ALS to create a roadmap for reducing risk.

But as a golfer, gardener, or woodworker, should you suddenly look for another hobby? No, both Gottman and Feldman say it's too early for doctors to advise patients to stop these activities. But it's certainly not a bad idea to put the use of lawn pesticides on the back burner.

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