Evaluation of high blood pressure and obesity among US coal miners participating in the Enhanced Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program

Since 2005, the Enhanced Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program (ECWHSP) has offered respiratory examinations to coal miners in a mobile examination unit. As little is known about the cardiovascular health of coal miners, we describe the prevalence of high blood pressure (BP) and obesity among ECWHSP participants. During 2015, 1402 ECWHSP health examinations were performed. The prevalence of BP consistent with hypertension (systolic BP ≥ 140 mm Hg or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mm Hg), prehypertension (systolic BP 120-139 mm Hg or diastolic BP 80-89 mm Hg), and hypertensive crisis (systolic BP ≥ 180 mm Hg or diastolic BP ≥ 110 mm Hg) were calculated and compared with the US adult population using standardized morbidity ratios (SMRs). Most participants were male (N = 1317, 94%), White (N = 1303, 93%) and non-Hispanic (N = 1316, 94%). Thirty-one percent (N = 440) of participants had BP in the hypertensive range and 87% (N = 1215) were overweight/obese. Twenty-four participants (2%) had a BP reading consistent with a hypertensive crisis. Prevalence of obesity (52%, SMR = 1.52, 95% confidence interval = 1.41-1.64) and BP consistent with hypertension (31%, SMR = 1.60, 95% confidence interval = 1.45-1.76) was higher than the US adult population.The prevalence of obesity and BP consistent with hypertension in this population of coal miners is substantial, indicating a need for cardiovascular health interventions in coal mining communities.

Source: Casey, M. L., Fedan, K. B., Edwards, N., Blackley, D. J., Halldin, C. N., Wolfe, A. L., & Laney, A. S. (2017). Journal of the American Society of Hypertension.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jash.2017.06.007

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