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Asbestos 'raises heart disease risk'

Published on 03 April 2012 11:30 AM

People who have been exposed to asbestos at work are more likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke than those who have not, a study has revealed.

The Asbestos Workers Survey (1971-2005) examined the cause of death in almost 100,000 asbestos workers, who took part in regular health check-ups. The majority of the men and women (58% and 52% respectively) were smokers when they had their first examination and only a small percentage had given up by the time they had their last.

Between 1971 and 2005, 15,557 of the group died, with stroke claiming the lives of a little over 1,000 people and heart disease killing 4,000 people.

By analysing average death ratios, it emerged that those who had worked around asbestos were substantially more likely to die from heart disease than those who had not, even when smoking was taken into account.

It was revealed that male asbestos workers were 63% more likely to die as a result of a stroke and 39% more likely to succumb to heart disease than an ordinary member of the public.

Female asbestos workers, meanwhile, were 100% more likely to die from a stroke and 89% more likely to die from heart disease.

Copyright Press Association 2012

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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