Association between Metabolic Syndrome and Participation in Clean-up Work at the Hebei Spirit Oil Spill

허베이 스피리트호 원유유출시 방제작업과 대사증후군의 연관성

  • Lee, Ik-Jin (JS Occupational Health Research Center) ;
  • Jang, Bong-Ki (Department of Environmental Health Science, Soonchunhyang University) ;
  • Lee, Jong-Wha (Department of Environmental Health Science, Soonchunhyang University) ;
  • Son, Bu-Soon (Department of Environmental Health Science, Soonchunhyang University) ;
  • Cheong, Hae-Kwan (Sungkyuonkwan University School of Medicine) ;
  • Ha, Mina (Dankook University College of Medicine) ;
  • Choi, Young-Hyun (Taean Environmental Health Center) ;
  • Park, Myungsook (Taean Environmental Health Center)
  • Received : 2015.04.20
  • Accepted : 2015.10.14
  • Published : 2015.10.28


Objectives: We aimed to assess the risk of metabolic syndrome one year after the 2007 Hebei Spirit oil spill in Taean, Korea among people exposed to spilt oil during clean-up work. Methods: A total of 6,923 adults, including 3,019 males and 3,904 females, participated in the study. Health examinations and blood tests (total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, fasting blood sugar) were performed. A logistic regression model adjusting for age, gender, smoking history, drinking history, income, education, and marital status was used to estimate the risk of metabolic syndrome associated with the level of oil spill exposure. Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 24.9% among males and 18% among females. Compared with people living within 20 km of the coastline, the risk of metabolic syndrome among people living within 0.8 km of the coastline was significantly higher (male OR=1.696, 95% CI=1.320-2.178, female OR=1.992, 95% CI=1.549-2.561), including a significant dose-response relationship for distance from early contaminate coastline (p<0.001). The risk of metabolic syndrome was higher according to the increase of duration of cleaning work. The risk of metabolic syndrome among people who participated in the clean-up work for more than 116 days, compared with people who participated in the cleaning work for or less 14 days, was significantly higher (male OR=1.845, 95% CI=1.448-2.353, female OR=1.752, CI=1.378-2.228), with a significant dose-response relationship for days of clean-up work (p<0.001). Conclusion: This study showed that there is a significant association between exposure to the oil spill during the clean-up work, distance from early contaminate coastline and the risk of metabolic syndrome in a doseresponse manner.


Supported by : 환경부


  1. Ministry of environment. Hebei Spirit oil spill exposure and health effects survey on residents and participating in clean-up work. Interim Report of Acute Health Effect Investigation. Seoul: Department of Environmental Health Policy. Ministry of Environment; 2008.(Korean)
  2. Taean Gun. Statistical yearbook, 2010.(Korean)
  3. Ha M, Lee WJ, Lee S, Cheong HK. A literature review on health effects of exposure to oil spill. J Prev Med Public Health. 2008; 41(5): 345-354. (Korean)
  4. Taean Gun Health Center(Taean Environmental Health Center). 1st medium and long-term health effects survey on Hebei Spirit oil spill incident. 2010.(Korean)
  5. Reaven GM. Role of insulin resistance in human disease. Diabetes. 1988; 37(12): 1595-1607.
  6. Alberti KG, Zimmet PZ. Definition, diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus and its complications: part I. diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus, provisional report of a WHO consultation. Diabet Med. 1998; 15(7): 539-553.<539::AID-DIA668>3.0.CO;2-S
  7. Perski A, Olsson G, Landou C, de Faire U, Theorell T, Hamsten A. Minimum heart rate and coronary atherosclerosis: independent relations to global severity and rate of progression of angiographic lesions in men with myocardial infarction at a young age. Am Heart J. 1992; 123(3): 609-616.
  8. Sa Cunha R, Pannier B, Benetos A, Sich JP, London GM, Mallion JM, et al. Association between high heart rate and high arterial rigidity in normotensive and hypertensive subjects. J Hypertens. 1997; 15(12 Pt 1): 1423-1430.
  9. Krieger N, Williams DR, Moss NE. Measuring social class in US public health research: concepts, methodologies, and guidelines. Annu Rev Public Health. 1997; 18: 341-378.
  10. Lee KS, Park CY, Meng KH, Bush A, Lee SH, Lee WC, et al. The association of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption with other cardiovascular risk factors in men from Seoul, Korea. Ann Epidemiol. 1998; 8(1): 31-38.
  11. Booth SL, Sallis JF, Ritenbaugh C, Hill JO, Birch LL, Frank LD, et al. Environmental and societal factors affect food choice and physical activity: rationale, influences, and leverage points. Nutr Rev. 2001; 59(3 Pt 2): S21-S39.
  12. Brunner EJ, Marmot MG, Nanchahal K, Shipley MJ, Stansfeld SA, Juneja M, et al. Social inequality in coronary risk; central obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Evidence from the Whitehall II study. Diabetologia. 1997; 40(11): 1341-1349.
  13. Keil U, Chambless L, Filipiak B, Hartel U. Alcohol and blood pressure and its interaction with smoking and other behavioural variables: results from the MONICA Augsburg Survey 1984-1985. J Hypertens. 1991; 9(6): 491-498.
  14. Wamala SP, Lynch J, Horsten M, Mittleman MA, Schenck-Gustafsson K, Orth-Gomr K. Education and the metabolic syndrome in women. Diabetes Care. 1999; 22(12): 1999-2003.
  15. Dallongeville J, Cottel D, Ferrires J, Arveiler D, Bingham A, Ruidavets JB, et al. Household income is associated with of metabolic syndrome in a sexspecific manner. Diabetes Care. 2005; 28(2): 409-415.
  16. Cho JJ, Kim JY, Byun JS. Occupational stress on risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome. Korean J Occup Environ Med. 2006; 18(3): 209-220.(Korean)
  17. Lee SJ. The analysis of relationship between lifestyle factors metabolic syndrome in male adult[dissertation]. [Seoul]: Sungshin Women's University; 2010.
  18. Liese AD, Mayer-Davis EJ, Tyroler HA, Davis CE, Keil U, Schmidt MI, et al. Familial components of the multiple metabolic syndrome; the ARIC study. Diabetologia. 1997; 40(8): 963-970.
  19. Hunt KJ, Heiss G, Sholinsky PD, Province MA. Familial history of metabolic disorders and the multiple metabolic syndrome: the NHLBI family heart study. Genet Epidemiol. 2000; 19(4): 395-409.<395::AID-GEPI10>3.0.CO;2-3
  20. Yim UH, Kim M, Ha SY, Kim S, Shim WJ. Oil spill environmental forensics: the Hebei Spirit oil spill case. Environ Sci Technol. 2012; 19; 46(12): 6431-6437.
  21. Baja ES, Schwartz JD, Wellenius GA, Coull BA, Zanobetti A, Vokonaset PS, et al. Traffic-related air pollution and QT interval: modification by diabetes, obesity, and oxidative stress gene polymorphisms in the normative aging study. Environ Health Perspect. 2010; 118: 840-846.
  22. Park SK, Auchincloss AH, O'Neill MS, Prineas R, Correa JC, Keeler J, et al. Particulate air pollution, metabolic syndrome, and heart rate variability: the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA). Environ Health Perspect. 2010; 118: 1406-1411.
  23. Choi YH, Kim JH, Hong YC. Sex-dependent and body weight-dependent associations between environmental PAHs exposure and insulin resistance: Korean urban elderly panel. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2015; 69(7): 625-631.
  24. Reeder BA, Senthilselvan A, Desprs JP, Angel A, Liu L, Wang H, et al. The association of cardiovascular disease risk factors with abdominal obesity in Canada. Canadian Heart Health Surveys Research Group. CMAJ. 1997; 157 Suppl 1: S39-45.
  25. Ruderman N, Chisholm D, Pi-Sunyer X, Schneider S. The metabolically obese, normal-weight individual revisited. Diabetes. 1998; 47(5): 699-713.
  26. Lym YL, Hwang SW, Shim HJ, Oh EH, Chang YS, Cho BL. Prevalence and risk factors of the metabolic syndrome as defined by NCEP-ATP III. J Korean Acad Fam Med. 2003; 24(2): 135-143. (Korean)
  27. Lee TY, Yoon DS, Lee JG, Park OK, Park HJ, Kim IS. Prevalence by factors associated with metabolic syndrome - from NCEF-ATP III and Asia-Pacific regional obesity guidelines -. Journal of Korean Association of Health Promotion(J of KAHP). 2006; 4(1): 85-94.(Korean)
  28. Hsieh SD, Yoshinaga H, Muto T, Sakurai Y, Kosaka K. Health risks among Japanese men with moderate body mass index. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000; 24(3): 358-362.
  29. Park HS, O SU, Kang JH, Park YU, Choe JM, Kim YS, et al. Prevalence and associated factors with metabolic syndrome in South Korea - from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1998-. Korean J Obes. 2003; 12(1): 1-14.(Korean)
  30. Ford ES, Giles WH, Dietz WH. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among US adults: findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. JAMA. 2002; 287(3): 356-359.
  31. Cheung BM, Ong KL, Man YB, Wong LY, Lau CP, Lam KS. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002 according to different defining criteria. J Clin Hypertens(Greenwich). 2006; 8(8): 562-570.
  32. Lee EH. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and health behaviors among Koreans. Journal of Korean Association of Health Promotion. 2005; 3(2): 199-218.(Korean)
  33. Kim YH, Park RJ, Park WJ, Kim MB, Moon JD. Predictors of metabolic syndrome among shipyard workers and its prevalence. Korean J Occup Environ Med. 2009; 21(3): 209-217.(Korean)
  34. Park HS, Oh SW, Cho SI, Choi WH, Kim YS. The metabolic syndrome and associated lifestyle factors among South Korean adults. Int J Epidemiol. 2004; 33(2): 328-336.
  35. Jung CH, Park JS, Lee WY, Kim SW. Effects of smoking, alcohol, exercise, level of education, and family history on the metabolic syndrome in Korean adults. Korean Journal of Medicine. 2002; 63(6): 649-658.(Korean)
  36. Yoon YS, Oh SW, Baik HW, Park HS, Kim WY. Alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome in Korean adults; the 1998 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004; 80(1): 217-224.
  37. Zimmet PZ, Alberti KG. The IDF definition; Why we need a global consensus. Diabetes Voice. 2006; 51: 11-14.
  38. Parkes KR. Shift work and age as interactive predictors of body mass index among offshore workers. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2002; 28(1): 64-71.
  39. Sakata K, Suwazono Y, Harada H, Okubo Y, Kobayashi E, Nogawa K. The relationship between shift work and the onset of hypertension in male Japanese workers. J Occup Environ Med. 2003; 45(9): 1002-1006.
  40. Karlsson BH, Knutsson AK, Lindahl BO, Alfredsson LS. Metabolic disturbances in male workers with rotating three shift work. Results of the WOLF study. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2003; 76(6): 424-430.
  41. Kawachi I, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Manson JE, Speizer FE, et al. Prospective study of shift work and risk of coronary heart disease in women. Circulation. 1995; 92(11): 3178-3182.
  42. Knutsson A, Akerstedt T, Jonsson BG. Prevalence of risk factors for coronary artery disease among day and shift work. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1988; 14(5): 317-321.
  43. Lee CH, Park KH, Lee MJ, Choi WH, Kim H, Park CH, et al. Health effect assessment on volunteers involved in the cleanup operation following the Hebei Spirit oil spill along the Taean coast, Korea. Korean J Occup Environ Med. 2010; 22(1): 11-19.

Cited by

  1. Cancer Incidence Trend in the Hebei Spirit Oil Spill Area, from 1999 to 2014: An Ecological Study vol.15, pp.5, 2018,