The relation of carbon disulphide (CS2) exposure to risk factors for ischaemic heart disease was recently examined using data from a 1979 cross sectional study of 410 male textile workers, of whom 165 were exposed and 245 were unexposed to CS2. Average eight hour CS2 exposure concentrations ranged from 0.6 to 11.8 ppm by job title category among the exposed workers. A significant and positive linear trend in low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration (LDLc) and diastolic blood pressure with increasing CS2 exposure was found after adjustment for potential confounders. When exposure was examined as a categorical variable (none, low, moderate, and high), the high exposure group had an adjusted mean LDLc that was 0.32 mmol/l greater than the non-exposed group (p = 0.02), and an adjusted mean diastolic blood pressure that was 3.16 mm Hg greater than the non-exposed group (p = 0.09). The effect of CS2 on diastolic blood pressure was strengthened in analyses limited to exposed workers: the high exposure group had an adjusted mean diastolic blood pressure that was 5 mm Hg greater than that of the low exposed group (p = 0.03). Triglyceride, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and fasting glucose concentration, and systolic blood pressure were not affected by exposure. Blood lead concentration was positively associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The results indicate that relatively modest exposure to CS2 may raise LDLc concentration and diastolic blood pressure and suggest mechanisms by which exposure to CS2 may influence risk of ischaemic heart disease. Also the results provide further support for the hypothesis of a possible association between blood lead concentration and blood pressure.
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