Asbestos may increase CVD risk

CVD mortality was examined in nearly 100,000 British men and women exposed to asbestos through working in the manufacturing, insulation or asbestos removal industries.

The cohort members, followed for a median 19 years, were more likely to die from either cerebrovascular disease or ischaemic heart disease (IHD), after adjustment for smoking, compared to general population mortality rates. 

“Asbestos is an inflammatory agent, and there is evidence that inflammatory processes are involved in the development of cardiovascular disease,” the authors said.

They found that men exposed to asbestos had a 63% increased risk of dying from cerebrovascular disease and a 39% increased risk of dying from IHD.

Exposed women had double the risk of death from cerebrovascular disease and an 89% increased risk of death from IHD.

Never-smokers’ risk of IHD increased more rapidly with increased asbestos exposure compared to