Asbestos workers at significantly increased risk of heart

Medicalxpress.com: April 2, 2012.
Women seem to be at greater risk than men, the research indicates. It is well known that asbestos workers are already prone to serious lung disease, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, as a direct result of their exposure to asbestos fibres.

The researchers set out to explore the impact of asbestos as aninflammatory agent on the risk of heart disease and stroke, given that inflammation is now known to have a role in cardiovascular disease.

They analysed cause of death among just under 100,000 asbestos workers taking part in regular voluntary health monitoring and answering questions on levels of exposure for the Asbestos Workers Survey.

The average monitoring period was 19 years, with the average age on the date of the first medical examination being 35.

Most of the men taking part in the survey worked in asbestos removal while most of the women worked in manufacturing.

Over half of the men (58%) and women (52%) were smokers at the time of their first medical examination, proportions which had fallen only slightly (55% and 49%) at the time of their last medical examination. Smoking is a known risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Read more