A growing body of research has tied exposure to toxins released during 9/11 to 60 types of cancer and about 2 dozen other conditions among first responders and survivors. Among the hardest hit are members of the Fire Department of the City of New York. (FDNY). FDNY initially lost 343 people on 9/11, but more than 200 have died since.
While the list of lingering health concerns continues to grow, new research has uncovered encouraging findings. A recent study by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine identified the factors that play the biggest role in 9/11 firefighters’ risk of developing lung disease, as well as ways to reduce that risk, such as losing weight and reducing cholesterol.
“We’re mostly focused on how to help people improve,” says study senior author and pulmonologist Anna Nolan, MD, a professor in the Department of Medicine and Department of Environmental Medicine at NYU Langone Health. “Body mass index and lipids are much riskier to these patients then even smoking history, and I think that’s really important because those risk factors can be changed.”
Read more from Scientific American.