High Blood Pressure and Obesity in MinersPosted on by
Little is known about the cardiovascular risks for miners in the US as most research to date has focused on respiratory illness. Potential mining-related risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, noise, vibration, temperature extremes, and shift work combined with personal risk factors can put miners at greater risk of poor cardiovascular health. In an effort to better understand miners’ risk, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examined blood pressure and obesity, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease, among 1,402 miners in 2015. The research, recently released in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, revealed that among the coal miners studied, blood pressures in the hypertensive range and obesity were higher than what would be expected for the US adult population. Nearly 8 of every 10 coal miners evaluated had blood pressure readings indicating either prehypertension or hypertension and nearly 9 of 10 were overweight or obese.
NIOSH offers free health screenings for all coal miners through the mobile Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program.. Radiographic examinations, blood pressure (BP) screenings, and occupational and health history questionnaires are provided. Lung function testing (spirometry) is also performed if no medical issues are identified. A limited assessment of cardiovascular health risk factors, including hypertension and obesity, can be made using information gathered during these evaluations.
A majority of the 1,402 participants were male (94%), white (93%), and non-Hispanic (94%). The median age was 54 years with a range of 15–88 years. The data revealed that 46% of participants had a blood pressure reading consistent with prehypertension and 31% had a reading consistent with hypertension. Among the 440 individuals with blood pressure in the hypertensive range, 24 (5%) had a blood pressure reading consistent with a hypertensive crisis. This represented 2% of all program participants and was 60% higher than what would be expected for the US adult population. Additionally, 87% of coal miners participating in the program were found to be either overweight (35%) or obese (52%), which is also higher than expected.
These findings indicate a need for cardiovascular health interventions to improve the health of coal miners. Early detection of hypertension and appropriate referral and follow-up treatment of hypertension, obesity, and other cardiovascular risk factors can prevent stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular events. Existing mobile occupational health surveillance programs such as the NIOSH Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program could offer opportunities to identify coal miners at risk for poor cardiovascular health outcomes and refer them for medical evaluation and treatment. If you are aware of efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease among miners, please share them in the comment section below.
For more information on the mobile Enhanced Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (ECWHSP) visit the website.
Michelle Martin, MS, is a health communication specialist in the NIOSH Respiratory Health Division.
LT Megan Casey, RN, BSN, MPH, is a Nurse Epidemiologist in the NIOSH Respiratory Health Division.
10 comments on “High Blood Pressure and Obesity in Miners”
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This is an increasing health issue. We have seen it first hand in Mongolia, an economy reliant on mining but lacking in healthcare funding.
Both High Blood Pressure and Obesity do have same common underlying causes: correctable unhealthy lifestyle. Maybe above problem can be solved with TLC Program [ therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Program], Which is being promoted by NIH.GOV?
Thank you for your comment. Programs that promote a healthy diet, weight management and physical activity, including the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes program, may be helpful for individuals seeking to improve their cardiovascular health. Thank you again for your insight.
Great information here. Thanks for that. This is really a little known thing and I agree this is an increasing health issue. You are telling people about this and spreading information which is quite good. Keep it up!
This issue is of great concern. High BP and Obesity are interlinked to each other. Due to unhealthy lifestyle these are growing easily in Miners. You have suggested great ideas. Thank you for sharing this valuable article.!
Thank you for your comment.
Hi, I have some knowledge about Blood pressure. Blood pressure is self-explanatory: it is the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system. Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:
Systolic blood pressure (the upper number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
Diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.
Thank you for sharing this valuable article.!
nice articel,very helpful thanks for sharing
Yeah, true that blood pressure is a very common problem nowadays. Having this problem means that an invitation to many other health problems. It is better to treat it quickly before it ruins your life. You can treat the problem with blood pressure Supplements. They will give you relief from the symptoms of blood pressure.
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