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Miners exposed to diesel exhaust and respirable dust have increased risk of ischemic heart disease mortality

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is concerned with the findings of a new study highlighting an increased risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality in relation to diesel and respirable dust exposure.

The study published in the prestigious American Journal of Epidemiology by a group of leading scientists involved more than 10,000 US miners. It found that the miners exposed occupationally to diesel exhaust and respirable dust, had an increased risk of IHD mortality [1].

Diesel exhaust has been suggested as an occupational risk factor for IHD in past research considering a variety of work settings: these have included studies of truck drivers, state troopers, and diesel engine manufacturing workers. However, confirmatory evidence from large occupational cohorts using quantitative diesel particulate matter (PM) exposure metrics is limited. “In this new study, researchers address this evidence gap by examining the impact of respirable elemental carbon (REC) soot, a key surrogate for diesel exhaust, and respirable dust on IHD mortality” says Dr. George Thurston Professor at the New York University School of Medicine and member of FIRS Environmental Committee [2].

The authors estimated hazard ratios of IHD mortality for both cumulative and average intensity of exposure to diesel and respirable mine PM.

In addition, tests for trends of increasing risk with increasing exposure were statistically significant for cumulative diesel REC, and for average respirable dust.

Notes to Editors

[1] Sadie Costello, Michael D Attfield, Jay H Lubin, Andreas M Neophytou, Aaron Blair, Daniel M Brown, Patricia A Stewart, Roel Vermeulen, Eleen A Eisen and Debra T Silverman. Ischemic Heart Disease Mortality and Diesel Exhaust and Respirable Dust Exposure in the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study.

The paper can be viewed here.

[2] Dr. Thurston is Professor at the New York University School of Medicine’s Dept. of Environmental Medicine, where he is Director of the Program in Exposure Assessment and Health Effects. His research has focused on the human health effects of outdoor air pollution, involving both panel and large population cohort epidemiological studies.

About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS)

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organisation comprised of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally: American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latino Americana De Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS), Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).

The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.

For more information about FIRS please contact Lisa Roscoe This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..