Hispanic and Latino individuals who worked with metals and pesticides had increased risk for CVD, according to a study published in Heart.
Catherine M. Bulka, PhD, who was a predoctoral fellow at University of Illinois at Chicago at the time of the study and is now a postdoctoral research associate at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues analyzed data from 7,404 participants aged 18 to 74 years from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.
Questionnaires were conducted to collect information on work environment, exposures, CVD prevalence, sociodemographic data, education, lifestyle characteristics and occupational characteristics.
Of the participants in the study, 6.5% reported exposures to organic solvents, 8.5% to metal exposure and 4.7% to pesticide exposure.
Some form of CVD was reported by 6.1% of participants, including CHD (4.3%), cerebrovascular disease (1%), atrial fibrillation (0.7%) and HF (0.8%).
After adjusting for acculturation, sociodemographics, occupational and lifestyle characteristics, participants who reported exposure to pesticides had increased risk for any CVD (prevalence ratio (PR) = 2.18; 95% CI, 1.34-3.55). This was also seen for CHD (PR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.31-3.71) and AF (PR = 5.92; 95% CI, 1.89-18.61). There was no significant difference in risk for cerebrovascular disease (PR = 1.38; 95% CI, 0.62-3.03) and HF (PR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.23-3.54).
Participants exposed to metal had an increased risk for AF (PR = 3.78; 95% CI, 1.24-11.46). This association was not seen for cerebrovascular disease, CHD or HF.
Null associations were seen between participants who reported organic solvent exposure and CVD.
“Since workplace chemical hazards are known risk factors for other serious illnesses, including cancers, respiratory and neurological conditions, efforts should be undertaken to minimize or eliminate exposures,” Bulka and colleagues wrote. “Such workplace interventions may want to consider first targeting male workers, especially Puerto Rican males given their double burden of occupational exposures and existing CVD.”
“It is necessary to identify which metals and pesticides may be the most influential and if there are synergistic effects,” Karin Broberg, MD, professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, wrote in a related editorial. “The present study evaluated one exposure at a time without adjustments for other occupational risk factors for CVD.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Disclosures: The authors and Broberg report no relevant financial disclosures.