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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


NKOSI, V; WICHMANN, J  and  VOYI, K. Comorbidity of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases among the elderly residing close to mine dumps in South Africa: A cross-sectional study. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2016, vol.106, n.3, pp.290-297. ISSN 2078-5135.

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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