Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2023;49(2):145-154    pdf full text

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.4071 | Published online: 21 Nov 2022, Issue date: 01 Mar 2023

Short and long-term associations between serum proteins linked to cardiovascular disease and particle exposure among constructions workers

by Gliga AR, Grahn K, Gustavsson P, Ljungman P, Albin M, Selander J, Broberg K

Objectives Construction workers are exposed to respirable dust, including respirable crystalline silica (RCS), which is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether exposure to particles among construction workers is associated with short- and long-term alterations in CVD-related serum proteins.

Methods Using proximity extension assay, we measured 92 serum proteins linked to CVD among active male construction workers (N=65, non-smokers) sampled on two occasions: during work and after vacation. First, we used linear models to identify short-term changes in proteins associated with particle exposure (assessed as respirable dust and RCS) during work. Secondly, we used linear mixed models to evaluate whether these associations were long-term, ie, persistent after vacation.

Results The median exposure to respirable dust and RCS during work were 0.25 mg/m3 and 0.01 mg/m3, respectively. Respirable dust was associated with short-term changes in six proteins (tissue factor, growth hormone, heme oxygenase-1, dickkopf-related protein-1, platelet-derived growth factor-B, stem cell factor); long-term associations were observed for the former three proteins. RCS was associated with short-term changes in five proteins (carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule-8, hydroxyacid oxidase-1, tissue factor, carbonic anhydrase-5A, lectin-like oxidized LDL receptor-1); long-term associations were observed for the former four proteins.

Conclusions Moderate exposure to particles in the construction industry is associated with both short- and long-term changes in circulating CVD-related proteins. Further studies are needed to evaluate if these changes are predictors of occupationally induced clinical CVD.

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