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n South African Medical Journal - Comorbidity of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases among the elderly residing close to mine dumps in South Africa : a cross-sectional study : research
Background. Pollution arising from mine dumps in South Africa (SA) has been a source of concern to nearby communities.
Objective. To investigate whether comorbidity of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases among elderly persons (≥55 years) was associated with proximity to mine dumps.
Methods. Elderly persons in communities 1 - 2 km (exposed) and ≥5 km (unexposed) from five preselected mine dumps in Gauteng and North West provinces in SA were included in a cross-sectional study.
Results. Exposed elderly persons had a significantly higher prevalence of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases than those who were unexposed. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that living close to mine dumps was significantly associated with asthma + hypertension (odds ratio (OR) 1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22 - 2.28), asthma + pneumonia (OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.14 - 3.04), emphysema + arrhythmia (OR 1.38; 95% CI 1.07 - 1.77), emphysema + myocardial infarction (OR 2.01; 95% CI 1.73 - 2.54), emphysema + pneumonia(OR 3.36; 95% CI 1.41 - 7.98), hypertension + myocardial infarction (OR 1.60; 95% CI 1.04 - 2.44) and hypertension + pneumonia (OR 1.34; 95% CI 1.05 - 1.93).
Conclusion. Detrimental associations between comorbidity of the health outcomes and proximity to mine dumps were observed among the elderly in SA.
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