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Your Environment. Your Health.

Christine Parks, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.

Chronic Disease Epidemiology Group

Christine Parks, M.S.P.H., Ph.D.
Christine Parks, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.
Staff Scientist
Tel 984-287-3723
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop A3-05
Durham, N.C. 27709

Research Summary

Christine Parks, Ph.D. is a staff scientist in the Epidemiology Branch at NIEHS and is a Co-PI for the Agricultural Health Study. The study focuses on the potential health effects of pesticides and other farming exposures in licensed pesticide applicators and their spouses. Parks specializes in the environmental causes of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Her work in the Agricultural Health Study and other cohorts has addressed the role of pesticides and other occupational exposures to silica, metals, and non-ionizing UV radiation exposures in the development autoimmune disease. Her research also examines factors that may contribute to the development of autoantibodies, to help understand the natural history of autoimmunity and how it contributes to health and disease. Parks received her B.A. in biology from Reed College, and her M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


  • The Agricultural Health Study

    The Agricultural Health Study was developed to learn about possible health effects of pesticides in a cohort of licensed pesticide applicators and spouses.

Selected Publications

  1. Parks CG, Cooper GS, Nylander-French L, Sanderson WR, Dement JM, Cohen PL, Dooley MA, Treadwell EL, St. Clair EW, Gilkeson GS, Hoppin JA, Savitz DA. Occupation exposure to crystalline silica and risk of systemic lupus erythematosus: a population-based, case-control study in the southeastern United States. Arthritis Rheum 46:1840-1850, 2002. [Abstract] 
  2. Parks C, Cooper G, Dooley M, Park M, Treadwell E, Gilkeson G. Childhood agricultural and adult occupational exposures to organic dusts in a population-based case-control study of systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus 17:711-9, 2008. 
  3. Parks CG, Walitt BT, Pettinger M, Chen JC, de Roos AJ, Hunt J, Sarto G, Howard BV. Insecticide use and risk of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Arthritis Care & Research 63(2):184-94, 2011. [Abstract] 
  4. Parks CG, D'Aloisio AA, DeRoo LA, Huiber K, Rider LG, Miller FW, Sandler DP. Childhood socioeconomic factors and perinatal characteristics influence development of rheumatoid arthritis in adulthood. Ann Rheum Dis 2013; 72:350-356. E-pub 2012 May 12. PMID: 22586176. PMCID: PMC5029277 [Abstract] 
  5. Parks CG, Miller FW, Satoh M, Chan EK, Andrushchenko Z, Birnbaum LS, Jusko TA, Kissling GE, Patel MD, Rose KM, Weinberg C, Zeldin DC, Sandler DP. Reproductive and hormonal risk factors for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in a representative sample of U.S. women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 23(11):2492-502, 2014. [Abstract] 
  6. Meier HC, Sandler DP Simonsick EM, Parks CG. Association between Vitamin D Deficiency and Antinuclear Antibodies in Middle-Aged and Older U.S. Adults. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 25(12):1559-63, 2016. [Abstract] 
  7. Parks CG, D'Aloisio AA, Sandler DP. Early Life Factors Associated with Adult-Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Women. Frontiers in Immunology 7:103, 2016. [Abstract] 
  8. Parks CG, Hoppin JA, De Roos AJ, Costenbader KH, Alavanja MC, Sandler DP. Rheumatoid Arthritis in Agricultural Health Study Spouses: Associations with Pesticides and Other Farm Exposures. Environmental Health Perspectives 124(11):1728-34, 2016. [Abstract] 
  9. Meyers AM, Sandler DP, Beane Freeman LA, Hofmann JN, Parks CG. Pesticide exposure and risk of rheumatoid arthritis among licensed male pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study. Environmental Health Perspectives 2017 (in press). 
  10. Parks CG, D'Aloisio AA, Sandler DP. Childhood Residential and Agricultural Pesticide Use in Relation to Adult-Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in Women. American Journal of Epidemiology 2017 (in press). 
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