Cardiac and vascular disorders as para-occupational diseases – a Polish perspective
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Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
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Paweł Gać   

Uniwersytet Medyczny we Wrocławiu, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2021;28(2):231-236
The study presents the difference between occupational and para-occupational diseases in terms of Polish law, and indicates the fact that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are considered to be work-related, and describes the latest reports on the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in workplaces.

The aim of this study is to present the difference between occupational and para-occupational diseases in terms of Polish law. Also indicated is the fact that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are considered to be work-related and the latest reports on the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in workplaces are described.

Brief description of the state of knowledge:
Polish law distinguishes two groups of diseases that may arise in connection with work: occupational diseases and work-related diseases (so-called para-occupational diseases). Despite the fact that both groups are connected with the work environment they are not equivalent in legal terms. CVDs are one of the greatest threat to human life. The pathogenesis of these diseases is highly dependent on the compilation of adverse risk factors, which are typically divided into modifiable and non-modifiable. To-date, modifiable factors, i.a. excess weight and high blood pressure, were mainly associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. However, a shift in perspective has taken place and currently researchers focus more on the work environment as a possible factor affecting people’s health. It is emphasized that an unhealthy work environment increases the risk of CVD. Research shows that workplaces are rich in risk factors specifically related to work, including psychosocial, physical and chemical factors.

Legal principles covering para-occupational diseases in Poland seem incomplete. It is suggested that providing detailed legal authorization and defining the bodies that will objectively and reliably engage in the diagnostic process of para-occupational diseases may be beneficial to employees.

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