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Welding and Myocardial Infarction Risk

Malinauskiene, V

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000276446.32338.a3

Institute of Cardiology of Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania.


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In some studies welding was found to be associated with the increased mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD). The aim of our study was to investigate the risk of the first myocardial infarction (MI) risk among welders.

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Material and Methods:

We conducted the population-based case-control study among the survivors of the first MI in 1997 to 2004. Cases (N = 1081) were identified from the hospital register (ICD 10th revision, code I21) (response rate 70.4%). The control group contained 2547 men without signs of IHD. We used the questionnaire information on 28 MI risk factors. Cases and controls were interviewed by trained personnel. We investigated the effect of job strain according to the demand-control model on the first MI risk. We performed the logistic regression analysis for the calculation of adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) and estimated first MI risk among welders.

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Totally 132 (12.2%) welders with the first MI and 258 (10.1%) controls were registered. The crude OR of MI for welders was 1.23; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.54. After adjustment for age, socioeconomic status, smoking, blood pressure, and body mass index, the risk of MI for welders increased to 1.38; 95% CI 1.09 to 1.76. After adjustment for the above-mentioned factors and job strain, the OR increased to 1.58; 95% CI 1.02 to 2.45, and after adjustment for low job control it was 1.61; 95% CI 1.03 to 2.51.

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Welders were found to be at the occupation of the increased first myocardial infarction risk. Low job control and job strain were MI risk factors in many occupations; eg, the demand-control model explained the associations between bridge and tunnel officers and IHD, showing more significant effect than carbon monoxide. The excess MI risk among welders cannot be explained by the demand-control model. Toxic hazards in the work environment among welders might be of importance.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.