Study Shows Link Between Heart Disease and Asbestos in Workplace

A study has been published that shows a clear link between the incidence of heart disease and strokes in workers and exposure to asbestos in their workplace.

A study conducted by the Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL)-a branch of the UK’s Health and Safety Executive-that was recently published in the British Medical Journal has concluded that employees exposed to asbestos are at a greater risk of heart disease and strokes than the general population.

The HSL analysed 15,557 deaths among 98,912 workers who had taken part in regular voluntary health monitoring and participated in the Asbestos Workers Survey. They compared the numbers of deaths from strokes and heart attacks among these workers with the number that would be expected to occur in members of the general population. They also found that women were more likely to be affected than men by the material.

This discrepancy between men and women was found to be significant. Male asbestos workers-who were usually engaged in removal of asbestos-were 39 percent more likely to die of heart disease and 63 percent more likely to die of a stroke. Women-mostly employed in the manufacturing industry-were 89 percent more likely to die of heart disease than the general population, and 100 percent more likely to die of a stroke after being exposed to asbestos.

Evidence was also presented that the longer the duration of exposure to the dangerous material, the greater the likelihood the person had of dying from heart disease or a stroke. The report concluded that cerebrovascular and ischaemis heart disease mortality rates were significantly higher when there had been exposure to asbestos in the workplace, causing concern.

Provided it can be proven that the person who was suffering from heart disease or who had experienced a stroke was exposed to asbestos at work-or due to linking environmental factors-it is possible to claim compensation for heart disease due to asbestos exposure.

The research that has been published has provided many victims of asbestos-related diseases with the information needed to claim compensation for their injuries. For cases where the person exposed to asbestos has died, families are permitted to claim compensation for heart diseases from asbestos exposure on the victim´s behalf; although the successful conclusion of the claim may depend on being able to locate witnesses who can confirm the presence of asbestos in the workplace.