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Asbestos Exposed Workers Increased Risk for Heart Disease

For many years, we have been noticing annecdotally that our asbestos exposed clients seemed to have a higher incidents of heart disease. Now a new study led by Anne-Helen Harding of Britain’s Health and Safety Laboratory, which appeared in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine on Tuesday investigates whether asbestos is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. According to the Journal, “the objective of this study was to investigate cardiovascular disease mortality in a large cohort of workers occupationally exposed to asbestos.

The study reported that “male asbestos workers were 63 percent likelier to die of a stroke and 39 percent likelier to die of heart disease when compared with the general public, even when smoking was taken into account. The corresponding figures for female asbestos workers were 100 percent and 89 percent. The workers were part of a survey set up in 1971 to monitor the long-term health of people in the asbestos industry.

According to a report by the Associated Foreign Press, “doctors have long wondered whether asbestos, as an inflammatory agent, is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. But the connection has until now never been clear, mainly because studies lacked information about whether an individual smoked. Over half of the women in the new study were smokers at the time of their first medical examination, and these proportions were almost unchanged when they had their last assessment.”

To read the study in its entirety, click here.

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