Published in

MDPI, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 4(18), p. 1587, 2021

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18041587



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Markers of Cardiovascular Disease among Adults Exposed to Smoke from the Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Little research has examined the effects of high concentration, medium-duration smoke exposure on cardiovascular health. We investigated whether six weeks of exposure to smoke from the 2014 Hazelwood coal mine fire in Victoria (Australia), was associated with long-term clinical or subclinical cardiovascular disease approximately four years later, in adult residents of the towns of Morwell (exposed, n = 336) and Sale (unexposed, n = 162). The primary outcome was serum high sensitivity (hs) C-reactive protein (CRP). Blood pressure, electrocardiogram, flow mediated dilatation and serum levels of hs-troponin, N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide and lipids were secondary outcomes. There was no significant difference in weighted median hsCRP levels between exposed and unexposed participants (1.9 mg/L vs. 1.6 mg/L, p = 0.273). Other outcomes were comparable between the groups. hsCRP was associated in a predictable manner with current smoking, obesity and use of lipid-lowering therapy. Four years after a 6-week coal mine fire, this study found no association between smoke exposure and markers of clinical or subclinical cardiovascular disease in exposed adults.