Preliminary report on hepatic and cardiovascular risk assessment of automobile mechanics in Nigeria
Automechanics are among the job professionals in proximity to diesel and gasoline exhaust whose components are known to be toxic. This raises serious public health concern. This study is a population-based-cross-sectional survey, set up to investigate the risk of cardiovascular and hepatic injury incurred by people engaged in work as mechanics. For information on the year of experience, socio demography, nutrition and lifestyle, structured questionnaires were administered. Ninety-one out of 186 mechanics drawn from 671 mechanic workshops along with 91 control subjects were analyzed. Venous blood was taken for determination of concentrations of lipids, transaminases and alkaline phosphatase activity. The body mass index, coronary and artherogenic risk index and blood pressure were also determined. Student’s t-test for unpaired samples was used to analyze all data. As such, Pvalues of <0.05 were accepted as significant. The mechanics’ total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol, were not different from that of the control subjects. The triglyceride level, artherogenic and coronary risk index of the mechanics was higher than that of the control subjects. However, the enzymes’ activity was not different for the mechanics and the control subjects, and the blood pressure of the mechanics was also not different from that of the control subjects. Our result does not suggest a greater risk of hepatic and cardiovascular diseases in the mechanics, but the observed increase in artherogenic and coronary risk index is, however, of interest.
Key words: Occupational risk, mechanics, lipid profile, cardiovascular disease, liver dysfunction, benzene.