- Findings from the study propose that exposure to pesticides causes heart disease.
- The study group consists of Japanese men that live in Hawaii. Furthermore, the total sample consists of 8,000 men, that are between 45 and 68 years.
- After examining the data scientists conclude that workers that are in contact with pesticides have to carry protective gear.
About the Research
This study about heart disease comes from the Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program. Through this research program, scientists have access to 8,000 Japanese- American men from the island of Oahu. Furthermore, the individuals from this study are between 45 and 68 years. Also, this is a longitudinal study and it considers findings from 34 years of follow-ups and various examinations. The findings from this study are available in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
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Heart Disease and Pesticide Exposure
Through the utilization of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Scale, the scientists can determine the individual exposure to pesticides. Through this scale they can also determine the intensity and duration of pesticide exposure. Furthermore, because of the size of the sample they also have access to people that have no contact with pesticides. Because of this, researchers can compare the prevalence of heart disease among the two groups. Not only that, but they can compare the results for an extensive period.
After considering all the facts the scientists conclude that pesticide exposure increases the risk of heart disease up to 45%. Also, moderate and intense exposure to pesticides did not influence the chance of gaining heart disease later in life. That means that pesticides affect heart health even if the exposure is in moderate doses.
Why are pesticides so dangerous for heart health? This is because pesticides have a long half-life and they can stay in the organism. Because of this they can affect the health of individuals long after the exposure stops. The scientists show that the highest effect of pesticides on heart health is in the first 10 years after exposure.
After considering all the facts the scientists conclude that the best preventive measure is to wear protective gear. Through such measures, we can minimalize the exposure to pesticides and their adverse effects on heart health.
- The study considers only men of Japanese descent, the research needs to consider other groups in the future.