The harmful long-term effect on health of exposure to the dust after the fall of the 'Twin Towers'

Ground Zero is reborn, but does not forget his victims on 9 September 2011, produced one of the biggest terrorist attacks in history: two planes ‘suicide’ hit

The harmful long-term effect on health of exposure to the dust after the fall of the 'Twin Towers'
Ground Zero is reborn, but does not forget his victims

on 9 September 2011, produced one of the biggest terrorist attacks in history: two planes ‘suicide’ hit the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York city and caused 2.996 deaths. But its effects on health, especially on the professionals of the emergency services that acu took the first at the scene of the attack, starting to be more visible after almost 20 years.

A study carried out among firefighters of the city of New York has just discovered that exposure to dust that is scattered due to the collapse of the towers is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the long term. The study, conducted by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Health System Montefiore and the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), found that those who arrived first at the World Trade Center, when the dust transported by the air was thicker, have 44% higher risk of CVD compared with those who came later. The study is published today in "JAMA Network Open".

"The increase in risk was significant, even taking into account the known risk factors for heart disease such as age, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and smoking," explains the coordinator of the study David J. Prezant.

studies have repeatedly shown that exposure to the dust that was generated after the fall of the towers is associated with an immediate risk and long-term adverse health effects, including respiratory problems, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and different types of cancer. However, it was not defined the relationship with CVD.

This work brought together data from 9.796 firefighters who were working at the time of the collapse of the towers. Most had not ever smoked (74%), were white non-hispanic (94%) and their average age was 40 years. All were men, because there were very few bomberas in situ to obtain meaningful data.

The firefighters were divided into four groups : (1) those who arrived for the first during the morning of September 11 (that it was believed that received the highest exposure to dust); (2) those who attended for the first time that afternoon; (3) those who arrived for the first time on 12 September; and (4) those who came for the first time between days 3 and 14.

The fire that came during and immediately after the destruction of the World Trade Center had a risk of 44% higher of experiencing cardiovascular events

The researchers reviewed 16 years of medical records, medical exams and questionnaires to evaluate the participants in terms of their risk of cardiovascular events, primary and secondary. (The primary events of CVD was defined as myocardial infarction, stroke, unstable angina, surgery of coronary artery, or angioplasty, or death from CVD; the side included transient ischemic attack, angina, defined as a medication for angina, or cardiac catheterization without intervention, cardiomyopathy, and other CVD).

The results showed that the firefighters who came during and immediately after the destruction of the World Trade Center (group 1) had a risk of 44% higher of experiencing cardiovascular events, primary and secondary in comparison with that they arrived on the 12th of September or later (groups 3 and 4).

in The same way, those who worked in the World Trade Center for six months or more had a 30% higher odds of having experienced an event of CVD primary or secondary in comparison with those who worked less time. These associations were statistically significant after taking into account age, race / ethnicity and initial evaluations of body mass index, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, tobacco use, and probable PTSD.

"An important message is that the new chest pain in this group should not be attributed automatically to illnesses related to the WTC disaster is already known, such as reflux disease or obstructive airway (COPD). It is very possible that this is associated with a CVD," warns Prezant.

"Our results emphasize why it is crucial to control the long-term health of anyone exposed to environmental disasters massive, even many years after the event," says co-author Rachel Zeig-Owens. "To detect and treat other risk factors of CVD, such as high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, and smoking, we can reduce the overall risk of CVD in people more exposed to the World Trade Center disaster".

Our results emphasize why it is crucial to control the long-term health of anyone exposed to environmental disasters massive, even many years after the event

Many other studies have linked acute exposure and long-term air pollution with CVD. The researchers noted that exposure to dust and products of combustion could have triggered processes persistent diseases that involve chronic inflammation that increased the risk of CVD in later years.

Updated Date: 11 September 2019, 23:01

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