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Occupational Exposures and Cardiac Structure and Function: ECHO-SOL (Echocardiographic Study of Latinos)


Burroughs Pena, Melissa Suzanne; Uwamungu, Jean Claude; Bulka, Catherine M.; Swett, Katrina R.; Perreira, Krista M.; Kansal, Mayank M.; Loop, Matthew Shane; Hurwitz, Barry E.; Daviglus, Martha L.; & Rodriguez, Carlos J. (2020). Occupational Exposures and Cardiac Structure and Function: ECHO-SOL (Echocardiographic Study of Latinos). Journal of the American Heart Association, 9(17), e016122. PMCID: PMC7660755


Background: Our objective was to determine associations of occupational exposures with cardiac structure and function in Hispanic/Latino adults.
Methods and Results: Employed participants were included (n=782; 52% women, mean age 52.9 years). Occupational exposures to burning wood, vehicle exhaust, solvents, pesticides, and metals at the current and longest-held job were assessed by questionnaire. Survey multivariable linear regression analyses were used to model the relationship of each self-reported exposure with echocardiographic measures of cardiac structure and function. Exposure to burning wood at the current job was associated with decreased left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (-3.1%; standard error [SE], 1.0 [P=0.002]). When the analysis was restricted to exposure at the longest-held job, occupational exposure to burning wood was associated with increased LV diastolic volume (6.7 mL; SE, 1.6 [P<0.0001]), decreased LV ejection fraction (-2.7%; SE, 0.6 [P<0.0001]), worse LV global longitudinal strain (1.0%; SE, 0.3 [P=0.0009]), and decreased right ventricular fractional area change (-0.02; SE, 0.004 [P<0.001]). Exposure to pesticides was associated with worse average global longitudinal strain (0.8%; SE, 0.2 [P<0.0001]). Exposure to metals was associated with worse global longitudinal strain in the 2-chamber view (1.0%; SE, 0.5 [P=0.04]), increased stroke volume (3.6 mL; SE, 1.6 [P=0.03]), and increased LV mass indexed to BSA (9.2 g/m(2); SE, 3.8 [P=0.01]) or height (4.4 g/m(2.7); SE, 1.9 [P=0.02]).
Conclusions: Occupational exposures to burning wood, vehicle exhaust, pesticides, and metals were associated with abnormal parameters of LV and right ventricular systolic function. Reducing exposures to toxic chemicals and particulates in the workplace is a potential opportunity to prevent cardiovascular disease in populations at risk.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Article Type


Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of the American Heart Association


Burroughs Pena, Melissa Suzanne
Uwamungu, Jean Claude
Bulka, Catherine M.
Swett, Katrina R.
Perreira, Krista M.
Kansal, Mayank M.
Loop, Matthew Shane
Hurwitz, Barry E.
Daviglus, Martha L.
Rodriguez, Carlos J.



Data Set/Study

Hispanic Community Health Study / Study of Latinos


United States of America