WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Occupational exposure to pesticides is associated with cardiovascular disease incidence in the first 10 years of follow-up, according to a study published online Sept. 25 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Zara K. Berg, Ph.D., from the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu, and colleagues examined occupational exposure to pesticides in relation to incident cardiovascular disease in a cohort of 7,557 Japanese-American men. Hazard ratios for cardiovascular disease incidence were calculated for various levels of pesticide exposure.

The researchers observed a positive association between age-adjusted cardiovascular disease incidence and high levels of pesticide exposure in the first 10 years of follow-up (hazard ratio, 1.46). After adjustment for other cardiovascular disease risk factors, this significant correlation persisted (hazard ratio, 1.42). When examined separately, no significant correlation was noted for coronary heart disease or cerebrovascular accident incidence with pesticide exposure, possibly due to a small number of events.

“Employees can still have effects related to exposure to chemicals years after their exposure because the pesticides have a long half-life,” the authors write. “By investigating different lag times after exposure, we estimate that the maximum effect of exposure was seen within 10 years.”

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