Sunday December 16, 2018

Study: 9/11 Survivors May Face the Risk of Developing Increased Heart, Lung Diseases Years Later

The monumental terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11 have managed to leave behind scars that are much more than just skin-deep

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The 9/11 attacks. wikimedia
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  • A recent study shows that the survivors may be at an increased long-term risk of asthma, other similar respiratory diseases, and heart attack
  • The findings indicate that intense exposure on a single day – the first day of the disaster – contributes substantially to the risk of developing chronic conditions
  • The authors used data from the WTC Health Registry cohort to examine the long term health effects of acute exposure to the dust cloud or physical injury caused by the terrorist attack

Washington, July 18, 2017: The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, have made the accident a historical event, having left behind scars that are much more than just skin-deep. A recent study shows that the survivors may be at an increased long-term risk of asthma, other similar respiratory diseases, and heart attack.

The association between physical injury or acute exposure to the dust cloud on the morning of September 11, 2001, and chronic diseases up to ten to eleven years later (2010-2012) were examined and analyzed by researchers at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

According to the corresponding author Robert Brackbill, the findings indicate that intense exposure on a single day – the first day of the disaster – contributes substantially to the risk of developing chronic conditions. He also mentioned, “Continued monitoring of people who were present in the vicinity of the World Trade Centre on 11th September by medical providers is warranted for the foreseeable future.”

The researchers observed that the number of types of injuries, such as fractures, head injuries, or sprains, a person sustained on 11th September 2001 was associated with an increased risk of angina or heart attack in a dose-dependent manner. This means that the risk of having angina or a heart attack went up with every additional injury type.

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According to ANI, exposure to dust, PTSD and being a rescue worker, as well as current smoking were associated with a higher risk of non-neoplastic lung disease (lung conditions not involving tumors) other than just asthma. Dust exposure, on its own, was associated with an increased risk of asthma. But none of these risk factors were associated with a higher risk of diabetes.

Out of the total number of 8,701 people who were a part of this study, 41% had been intensely exposed to the dust cloud, 10% had a single injury, 2% had two types of injury and 1% had three or more.

In the survey, the researchers also noticed 92 incident cases of heart disease, 327 new cases of diabetes, 308 cases of asthma, and 297 cases of non-neoplastic lung disease among 7,503 area workers, 249 rescue workers, 131 residents and 818 bystanders – the most heavily exposed groups.

The authors used data from the WTC Health Registry cohort to examine the long term health effects of acute exposure to the dust cloud, or physical injury caused by the terrorist attack. The WTC Health Registry is responsible for monitoring the physical and mental health of 71,431 persons exposed to the 9/11 attacks.

In the study, a lack of specific information on the severity, location, and treatment of injuries, as well as on the circumstances in which they were sustained meant that the number of types of injuries was used as a proxy measure of injury severity. However, the authors mentioned that it has been shown by previous researchers that more than one type of injury can be associated with increased risk of death and longer stays in the hospital.

The study has been published in the Injury Epidemiology journal.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter @dubumerang

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Smoking, High BP Increases Risk of Heart Attack Recurrence

Previous studies have defined young heart attack patients as less than 45-years-old while some used a less than 40-year-old cut-off

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Smoking, high BP raises risk of heart attack relapse: Study. Pixabay

Young men who are chain smokers or suffer from hypertension could be at an increased risk of heart attack recurrence, researchers have warned.

The study found that risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease and chronic kidney disease were more prevalent among the patients who experienced a relapse.

“When treating younger patients with a history of heart attack, clinicians should emphasise better control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes,” said Joanne Karen Recacho-Turingan, a cardiology student from The Medical City in Manila, Philippines.

“Other modifiable risk factors to highlight in patient history and address with these patients include smoking habits and obesity,” Recacho-Turingan added.

The findings were presented at the Asia Conference 2018 in Shanghai.

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BP-monitoring machine. Pixabay

For the study, researchers analysed 133 young patients and found that males (90.1 per cent) with an average age of 40.9 years, experienced a second heart attack compared to females (9.9 per cent) with an average age of 39.6 years.

In addition, in these male patients, chest pain was the most common presenting symptom (81.8 per cent) while 90.9 per cent had unstable vital signs.

Heart attack in young patients can cause disability and even death at the prime of life. There are often serious consequences for these patients, their families and the health system, which can lead to an increased economic burden, according to the study.

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“We must make sure to work with these patients on their modifiable risk factors to reduce their risk not just for a second heart attack, but hopefully, even preventing the first,” Recacho-Turingan noted.

Previous studies have defined young heart attack patients as less than 45-years-old while some used a less than 40-year-old cut-off. (IANS)