Occupational exposures and mortality from cardiovascular disease among women textile workers in Shanghai, China

Authors

  • Lisa G. Gallagher DSc, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    • Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, P.O. Box 357234, Seattle, WA 98195-7234.
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  • Roberta M. Ray MS,

    1. Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
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  • Wenjin Li MD, PhD, MPH,

    1. Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
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  • Bruce M. Psaty MD, PhD,

    1. Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    2. Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    3. Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    4. Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    5. Group Health Research Institute, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, Washington
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  • Dao Li Gao MD, MPH,

    1. Zhong Shan Hospital Cancer Center, Shanghai, China
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  • David B. Thomas MD, DrPH,

    1. Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
    2. Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • Harvey Checkoway PhD, MPH

    1. Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    2. Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Abstract

Background

Exposure to textile fiber dusts, like particulate air pollution, may be associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Bacterial endotoxin, a potent inflammagen found in cotton dust, may be a specific risk factor.

Methods

Female textile workers (N = 267,400) in Shanghai, China were followed for CVD mortality (1989–2000). Factory exposures were approximated by sector classifications based on materials and processes. Quantitative endotoxin and cotton dust measures were available for a subcohort (n = 3,188). Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results

Slightly elevated mortality risk for the cotton sector was seen for ischemic stroke (HR = 1.12, 95% CI: 0.97–1.31) and hemorrhagic stroke (HR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.02–1.23). Similar hemorrhagic stroke mortality risk was observed in high dust sectors (HR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.02–1.24). No association was observed for ischemic heart disease.

Conclusions

Exposures in textile factories may have contributed to CVD mortality among this cohort. The specific components of these exposures that may be harmful are not clear and should be further investigated. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:991–999, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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