Occupational cardiovascular disease

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Occupational cardiovascular disease

Occupational cardiovascular disease is disease of the heart or blood vessels that are caused by working conditions, making them a form of occupational illness. Little is known about occupational risks for heart disease, but links have been established between cardiovascular disease and certain toxins (including carbon disulfide, nitroglycerin, and carbon monoxide), extreme heat and cold, exposure to tobacco smoke, depression, and occupational stress. Other occupational hazards potentially related to cardiovascular disease include noise exposure at work, shift work, and physical activity at work.[1]

Non-chemical risk factors[edit]

A 2015 SBU-report including a systematic review of non-chemical risk factors for occupation cardiovascular disease found an association between certain occupational risk factors and developing cardiovascular disease in those:[2]

  • With mentally stressful work with a lack of control of their own working situation — with an effort-reward imbalance[2]
  • Who experience low social support at work; who experience injustice or experience insufficient opportunities for personal development; or those who experience job insecurity[2]
  • Those who work night schedules; or have long working weeks[2]
  • Those who are exposed to noise[2]

Specifically the risk of stroke was also increased by:[2]

  • Exposure to ionizing radiation[2]

Hypertension develops more often in those who experience job strain and who have shift-work.[2] Differences between women and men in risk are small, however men risk suffering and dying of heart attacks or stroke twice as often as women during working life.[2]

Chemical risk factors[edit]

A 2017 SBU report found evidence that workplace exposure to silica dust, engine exhaust or welding fumes is associated with heart disease.[3] Associations also exist for exposure to arsenic, benzopyrenes, lead, dynamite, carbon disulphide, carbon monoxide, metalworking fluids and occupational exposure to tobacco smoke.[3] Working with the electrolytic production of aluminium or the production of paper when the sulphate pulping process is used is associated with heart disease.[3] An association was also found between heart disease and exposure to compounds which are no longer permitted in certain work environments, such as phenoxy acids containing TCDD(dioxin) or asbestos.[3]

Workplace exposure to silica dust or asbestos is also associated with pulmonary heart disease. There is evidence that workplace exposure to lead, carbon disulphide, phenoxyacids containing TCDD, as well as working in an environment where aluminium is being electrolytically produced, is associated with stroke.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CDC - NIOSH Program Portfolio : Cancer, Reproductive, and Cardiovascular Diseases : Program Description". www.cdc.gov. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Services, Statens beredning för medicinsk och social utvärdering (SBU); Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social (2015-08-26). "Occupational Exposures and Cardiovascular Disease". www.sbu.se. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  3. ^ a b c d e Services, Statens beredning för medicinsk och social utvärdering (SBU); Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social. "Occupational health and safety – chemical exposure". www.sbu.se. Retrieved 2017-06-01.