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Ischemic cardiovascular disease in workers occupationally exposed to urban air pollution – A systematic review

Paola De Marchis 1  ,  
Fabio Tramuto 2,  
Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother-Child Care, ‘G. D’Alessandro’, Occupational Health Section, University of Palermo, Italy
Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother-Child Care, ‘G. D’Alessandro’, Hygiene Health Section, University of Palermo, Italy
Cardiovascular disease is the first cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Among several known risk factors, researchers also focus their attention on the chronic exposure to air pollution. There is much evidence that exposure to air pollution, especially to ultrafine particles, can damage the endothelium and can favour cardiovascular diseases in the general population. Occupational exposition could be an additive risk factor for the cardiovascular system. This article presents a scientific review of the linkage between occupational exposure to air pollution and ischemic heart disease.

Material and Methods:
A scientific review was undertaken, followed by PRISMA Statements. Observational studies were selected from several scientific databases, likesuch as Pubmed, Google Scholar, Nioshtic-2 and Reserchgate, searching for selected key words: police workers, professional drivers, mail carriers, filling station attendants, road cleaners, garage workers, motor vehicles and engine maintenance. All the key words were combined with “Boolean Operators” with the following words: cardiovascular (or cardiac) disease, cardiovascular function, cardiovascular system, ischemic heart disease, coronary disease, myocardial infarction. During the systematic research, the focus was on retrospective and prospective studies from January 1990 – December 2014.

Both the retrospective and prospective studies showed an increased risk of ischemic heart disease in occupationally occupied people exposed to air pollution. Only one study presented a ly minor risk.

The findings of this systematic review suggest a possible linkage between occupational exposure to urban air pollution, especially to motor exhaust and particulate, and ischemic heart disease.

Paola De Marchis   
Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother-Child Care, ‘G. D’Alessandro’, Occupational Health Section, University of Palermo, Italy
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