Skip to comments.Study Links Rescuers’ Lung Ailment to Trade Center Collapse
Posted on 05/07/2007 8:12:30 PM PDT by neverdem
In the first clinical study to clearly link World Trade Center dust to serious and sometimes fatal diseases, doctors have found that the number of New York City rescue and recovery workers with a rare type of lung-scarring condition soared in the year after the trade center collapsed.
Doctors from the Fire Department and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that 13 firefighters and emergency medical service workers with the department developed sarcoidosis, a debilitating illness in which the lungs and other organs develop inflammation that produces lumps of cells, called granulomas. The illness can be controlled with drugs, but in some cases it gets progressively worse and can be fatal.
The nine authors of the study including Dr. David J. Prezant, deputy chief medical officer of the Fire Department and a member of the faculty at Albert Einstein calculated an incidence rate in the first year after the collapse of 86 cases per 100,000 workers. That is more than five times higher than the 15 per 100,000 rate (an average of two to four cases per year) for Firefighter Department workers in the 15 years before the trade center collapsed.
After the initial surge in disease rates after 9/11, the number of cases of sarcoidosis and similar illnesses dropped, according to the study. But it remained somewhat higher than normal for several more years, corresponding to a rate of 22 per 100,000 (with no more than four cases each year).
In all, doctors found 26 cases of sarcoidosis in the five years after 9/11, an amount surpassing the combined total for the previous 15 years. None of the stricken Fire Department employees have died. Five are on permanent disability and five others are being reviewed for disability.
Several federal and local studies of the health...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Background: Previous reports suggest sarcoidosis occurs with abnormally high frequency in firefighters. We sought to determine whether exposure to World Trade Center (WTC) "Dust" during the collapse and rescue/recovery effort increased the incidence of sarcoidosis or "sarcoid-like" granulomatous pulmonary disease (SLGPD).
Methods: During the five years post-WTC, enrollees in the Fire Department of New York's (FDNY) WTC Monitoring and Treatment Programs who had chest radiographs suggestive of sarcoidosis underwent evaluation, including: chest CT imaging, pulmonary functions, provocative challenge and biopsy. Annual incidence rates were compared to the 15 years pre-WTC.
Results: Post-WTC, pathologic evidence consistent with new-onset sarcoidosis was found in 26 patients -- all with intra-thoracic adenopathy and 6 (23%) with extra-thoracic disease. Thirteen were identified during the first year post-WTC (incidence rate of 86/100,000) and 13 during the next four years (average annual incidence rate of 22/100,000; as compared to 15/100,000 during the 15 years pre-WTC). Eighteen of 26 (69%) had findings consistent with asthma; eight of 21 (38%) agreeing to challenge testing had airway hyperreactivity (AHR), findings not seen in pre-WTC FDNY sarcoidosis patients.
Conclusion: Post-WTC the incidence of sarcoidosis or SLGPD was increased among FDNY rescue workers. This new information about the early onset of WTC-SLGPD and its association with asthma/AHR has important public health consequences for disease prevention, early detection and treatment following environmental/occupational exposures.
Key Words: Sarcoidosis Granulomatous Pneumonitis Asthma Airway Hyperreactivity World Trade Center Firefighters EMS workers
“One more reason to find the cave where that SOB Osama and his henchman al-Zawahiri and covert it from a void in the rocks to just more of the mountain.”
But then researchers would discover that we launched a lung-corroding dust in to the air from the rubble and the Afghan Public Interest Research Group would sue the s#it out of you.
This is so hard to read. The fire and policemen that didn’t perish in the towers are still paying - forever - emotionally and physically.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
If they're sick,make sure they get all the health care they need and the financial support they might need.
If they die,make sure their widows and kids get all the support they need.
I’ve had sarcoidosis for years, and I know what these heroes are going through. May God bless and heal them all.