Assessment of an Occupational Risk Factor for Metabolic Syndrome


  • Carine Luíze Panke Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Porto Alegre
  • Dvora Joveleviths Medical School of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul/HCPA - University Hospital of Porto Alegre
  • Gabriela Raimann
  • Gerson J. Knijnik Physician; Universidade Federal de Ciências Médicas de Porto Alegre
  • Karen Gomes D'Avila Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre
  • Luciana Rott Monaiar Occupational Physician
  • Stéfani Ribeiro Rodrigues Physician; Universidade Federal de Ciências Médicas de Porto Alegre



Metabolic Syndrome, Chemical Hazards, Solvents



Over the last decades, there has been a significant increase in metabolic syndrome (MS), related to the global obesity epidemic. Among the associated factors, it should be noted that occupational exposure to chemicals is a possible etiology in the development of metabolic syndrome. Thus, the treatment usually proposed for MS, with diet and physical activity, may have limited effectiveness in workers exposed to chemical products. The objective of this study was to compare the risk factors for MS between a sample of workers occupationally exposed to organic solvents and a sample of unexposed workers. A cross-sectional study consisting of 99 male workers was conducted, including 53 workers exposed to chemical hazards in the workday and 46 workers without evidence of exposure. The first group was selected among workers that are exposed to organic solvents during their workday and the second group was selected randomly in a hospital, with no evidence of chemical exposure. A positive association was found between increased triglyceride levels and exposure to chemical hazards (37.3% for the exposed group vs. 21.7% for the unexposed group). An association between duration of exposure and hypertriglyceridemia (p<0.001) was found as well. Excluding age as a confounding variable, it was noted that the exposed group had higher triglyceride levels and that a longer exposure was proportional to this increase, which suggests a possible association between exposure to chemical products and MS.



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