A new study of New York City firefighters has found that exposure to 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) dust is associated with a significantly increased long-term risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
A new study of New York City firefighters has found that exposure to 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) dust is associated with a significantly increased long-term risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study, conducted by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System, and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), found that those who arrived first at the WTC site—when the air-borne dust was thickest—have a 44% increased risk of CVD compared to those who arrived later in the day. The study was published online today in JAMA Network Open.
“The increase in risk was significant, even taking into account known CVD risk factors such as age, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking,” said study leader David J. Prezant, M.D., a professor of medicine at Einstein, a pulmonary disease specialist at Montefiore, and chief medical officer of the FDNY.
This study’s finding of an increased risk of CVD with WTC exposure—as well as the researchers’ earlier studies identifying an increased risk for autoimmune rheumatologic diseases and for a blood cancer precursor that can lead to the cancer multiple myeloma—“highlights the need to add these health conditions to the list of WTC-related diseases that are coverable under the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act,” Dr. Prezant added.
Studies have repeatedly shown that WTC exposure is associated with immediate and long-term risk of adverse health effects, including respiratory problems, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and several types of cancer. A few studies have examined the association between WTC exposure and CVD. However, the results were inconsistent for a variety of reasons, primarily because they relied on first responders’ self-reported health measures.
Read more at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
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