Ischaemic Heart Disease and Occupational Exposures: A Longitudinal Linkage Study in the General and Maori Populations of New Zealand

Ann Work Expo Health. 2021 Oct 9:wxab087. doi: 10.1093/annweh/wxab087. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: This study assessed associations between occupational exposures and ischaemic heart disease (IHD) for males and females in the general and Māori populations (indigenous people of New Zealand).

METHODS: Two surveys of the general adult [New Zealand Workforce Survey (NZWS); 2004-2006; n = 3003] and Māori population (Māori NZWS; 2009-2010; n = 2107), with information on occupational exposures, were linked with administrative health data and followed-up until December 2018. Cox proportional hazards regression (adjusted for age, deprivation, and smoking) was used to assess associations between organizational factors, stress, and dust, chemical and physical exposures, and IHD.

RESULTS: Dust [hazard ratio (HR) 1.6, 95%CI 1.1-2.4], smoke or fumes (HR 1.5, 1.0-2.3), and oils and solvents (HR 1.5, 1.0-2.3) were associated with IHD in NZWS males. A high frequency of awkward or tiring hand positions was associated with IHD in both males and females of the NZWS (HRs 1.8, 1.1-2.8 and 2.4, 1.1-5.0, respectively). Repetitive tasks and working at very high speed were associated with IHD among NZWS females (HRs 3.4, 1.1-10.4 and 2.6, 1.2-5.5, respectively). Māori NZWS females working with vibrating tools and those exposed to a high frequency of loud noise were more likely to experience IHD (HRs 2.3, 1.1-4.8 and 2.1, 1.0-4.4, respectively). Exposure to multiple dust and chemical factors was associated with IHD in the NZWS males, as was exposure to multiple physical factors in males and females of the NZWS.

CONCLUSIONS: Exposures associated with an elevated IHD risk included dust, smoke or fumes, oils and solvents, awkward grip or hand movements, carrying out repetitive tasks, working at very high speed, loud noise, and working with tools that vibrate. Results were not consistently observed for males and females and between the general and Māori populations.

PMID:34626110 | DOI:10.1093/annweh/wxab087

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