Background: Agricultural workers are exposed to organic dust containing endotoxins, mites, and moulds.
Aims: To compare the occurrence of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) among male and female livestock and agricultural workers with gainfully employed men and women in Sweden.
Methods: Male and female livestock and agricultural workers were identified in the Swedish National Censuses of 1970 and 1990 and were followed until the end of 1995. The IHD mortality among the livestock and agricultural workers was compared with that of gainfully employed men and women. Information of smoking habits was gathered from a previous national survey.
Results: Male as well as female livestock workers had slightly higher standardised mortality ratios (SMR) regarding IHD compared with all gainfully employed men and women in Sweden. The SMR for male workers was 1.06 (95% CI 0.95 to 1.18). The SMR for female workers was 1.10 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.23). Agricultural workers had lower SMRs. Adjustments for smoking habits would further increase the SMRs by about 9% in male workers and about 5% in female workers.
Conclusion: The present data suggest a slightly increased risk for IHD among both male and female livestock workers, which may be the result of organic dust exposure.
- agricultural workers
- ischaemic heart disease
- livestock workers
- IHD, ischaemic heart disease
- SMR, standardised mortality ratio
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