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Heart Disease May Be Linked to Pesticide Exposure

A new look at data from a historic study of elderly Japanese Americans points to a potential link between pesticide exposure and the development of cardiovascular disease.

A new finding has emerged from historic data from the Kuakini Medical Center Honolulu Heart Program, which began to track the health of about 8,000 Japanese American men on Oahu in the mid 1960s: pesticide exposure may increase the risk for heart disease and stroke.

The University of Hawaii Manoa analysis, published in a Sept. 25 article in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found even healthy men could be at risk for cardiovascular issues.

“This study emphasizes the importance of using personal protective equipment during exposure to pesticides on the job and the importance of documenting occupational exposure to pesticides in medical records, as well as controlling standard heart disease risk factors,” said Beatriz Rodriguez, co-author of the study and professor of geriatric medicine at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine.

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