"pesticide spraying" by UGA CAES/Extension

High Pesticide Exposure Associated With Increased CAD and Stroke Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Zara Berg, Ph.D
Fort Peck Community College
Poplar, Montana

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This study is part of the cohort that consist of the Honolulu Heart Program (HHP) and what later became the Honolulu-Asia Aging study. HHP study cardiovascular research starting in the 1960’s, which is equivalent to the Framingham Study.

This study was used to establish the epidemiology parameters for cardiovascular diseases and is one of the longest longitudinal (34 years of follow-up) study on cardiovascular diseases and other diseases that effect the elderly. The participants were all Japanese that fought in WWII which is a sample size of 8,006 participants.

In additional, there is multiple studies based on this cohort for the last fifty plus years, ranging from occupational exposure, cancer, neurological diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings concluded that high exposure during middle-aged was statistically significant with developing coronary heart disease and stroke much earlier than the low/moderate exposed group and the non-exposed group. Low Exposure appeared to have a protective effect when compared to the non-exposed group, but it was not statistically significant.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Being exposed to high pesticide exposure is associated with developing stroke and coronary heart disease during middle age because pesticides are persisting in the body for 10 to 20 years and have a long half-life. Thus, you do not see the side-effects from exposure until later in life. Also, while on the job you should wear proper protective equipment (PPE) and to prevent and/or minimize exposure. High pesticide exposure should be put in medical records to monitor for potential future health risk. Also keep rack of your medical records.

Previous studies have discussed how pesticide exposure is associated with hypertension. The pesticide exposure effects the PON-1 gene that regulates cholesterol production, detoxification, especially heavy metals, and neurotransmitter regulation.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: More research needs to be done to look at gene-environmental factors of the different PON genes from pesticide exposure and it effects on cardiovascular diseases. In addition, the moderate exposed group of pesticide exposure with a large sample size needs to be further studied for any statistically association

Do you have any disclosures for this study? No, I do not.

Anything else to add?

The Center for Disease Control states that occupational exposures in general and risk factors pertaining to cardiovascular diseases are not well studied and need to be further established. 


Zara K. Berg, Beatriz Rodriguez, James Davis, Alan R. Katz, Robert V. Cooney, Kamal Masaki. Association Between Occupational Exposure to Pesticides and Cardiovascular Disease Incidence: The Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2019; 8 (19) DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.119.012569 


Last Modified: [last-modified] 

The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.


Last Updated on September 26, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD