Study finds asthma more common among WTC first responders

Great Neck, NY – First responders exposed to toxic dust at the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks suffer from asthma at a higher rate than the general population, according to research from the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, a nonprofit network of several hospitals, long-term care facilities, and trauma and outpatient centers.

A study comparing the medical information of almost 21,000 responders from 2002 to 2007 to national health survey data found 6.3 percent of WTC responders reported asthma symptoms in the prior 12 months, compared with 3.7 percent of the general population. Asthma rates were stable among the general population, but increased among responders from 2000 to 2005.

When data from the year before the attacks was included, the 12-month asthma rates for first responders were 40 times higher than the general population, a press release stated.

The study appeared in the January issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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