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Concept: World Trade Center

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The World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001 in New York City (9/11) exposed thousands of people to intense concentrations of hazardous materials that have resulted in reports of increased levels of asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases along with psychological illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Few studies have discriminated between health consequences of immediate (short-term or acute) intense exposures versus chronic residential or workplace exposures.

Concepts: Medicine, Asthma, Medical terms, Chronic, New York City, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, Lower Manhattan

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BACKGROUND: Longitudinal symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often characterized by heterogeneous trajectories, which may have unique pre-, peri- and post-trauma risk and protective factors. To date, however, no study has evaluated the nature and determinants of predominant trajectories of PTSD symptoms in World Trade Center (WTC) responders. Method A total of 10835 WTC responders, including 4035 professional police responders and 6800 non-traditional responders (e.g. construction workers) who participated in the WTC Health Program (WTC-HP), were evaluated an average of 3, 6 and 8 years after the WTC attacks. RESULTS: Among police responders, longitudinal PTSD symptoms were best characterized by four classes, with the majority (77.8%) in a resistant/resilient trajectory and the remainder exhibiting chronic (5.3%), recovering (8.4%) or delayed-onset (8.5%) symptom trajectories. Among non-traditional responders, a six-class solution was optimal, with fewer responders in a resistant/resilient trajectory (58.0%) and the remainder exhibiting recovering (12.3%), severe chronic (9.5%), subsyndromal increasing (7.3%), delayed-onset (6.7%) and moderate chronic (6.2%) trajectories. Prior psychiatric history, Hispanic ethnicity, severity of WTC exposure and WTC-related medical conditions were most strongly associated with symptomatic trajectories of PTSD symptoms in both groups of responders, whereas greater education and family and work support while working at the WTC site were protective against several of these trajectories. CONCLUSIONS: Trajectories of PTSD symptoms in WTC responders are heterogeneous and associated uniquely with pre-, peri- and post-trauma risk and protective factors. Police responders were more likely than non-traditional responders to exhibit a resistant/resilient trajectory. These results underscore the importance of prevention, screening and treatment efforts that target high-risk disaster responders, particularly those with prior psychiatric history, high levels of trauma exposure and work-related medical morbidities.

Concepts: Psychological trauma, PTSD, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, United 93, 7 World Trade Center, World Trade Center site, National September 11 Memorial & Museum

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BACKGROUND: World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers were exposed to a complex mix of pollutants and carcinogens. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate cancer incidence in responders during the first seven years after September 11, 2001. METHODS: Cancers among 20,984 consented participants in the WTC Health Program were identified through linkage to state tumor registries in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated to compare cancers diagnosed in responders to predicted numbers for the general population. Multivariate regression models were used to estimate associations with degree of exposure. RESULTS: A total of 575 cancers were diagnosed in 552 individuals. Increases over registry-based expectations were noted for all cancer sites combined (SIR 1.15; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.25), thyroid cancer (SIR 2.39; 95% CI: 1.70, 3.27), prostate cancer (SIR 1.21; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.44), combined hematopoietic and lymphoid cancers (SIR 1.36; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.71) and soft tissue cancers (SIR 2.26; 95% CI: 1.13, 4.05). When restricted to 302 cancers diagnosed six or more months after enrollment, the SIR for all cancers decreased to 1.06 (95% CI: 0.94, 1.18), but thyroid and prostate cancer diagnoses remained greater than expected. All cancers combined were increased in very highly exposed responders and among those exposed to significant amounts of dust compared with responders who reported lower levels of exposure. CONCLUSION: Estimates should be interpreted with caution given the short follow-up and long latency period for most cancers, the intensive medical surveillance of this cohort, and the small numbers of cancers at specific sites. However, our findings highlight the need for continued follow up and surveillance of WTC responders.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center

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Large amounts of various chemical contaminants, including perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), were released at the time of the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster. Thousands of children who lived and/or attended school near the disaster site were exposed to these substances but few studies have examined the possible consequences related to these exposures.

Concepts: September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, United 93

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Systemic inflammation has emerged as a promising marker and potential mechanism underlying post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The relationship between posttraumatic stress pathology and systemic inflammation has not, however, been consistently replicated and is potentially confounded by comorbid illness or injury, common complications of trauma exposure.

Concepts: Inflammation, Psychological trauma, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Prolonged exposure therapy, C-reactive protein, Iatrogenesis, World Trade Center

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The objective of this research is to determine whether responders and survivors of the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster experience symptoms of neuropathy at a rate higher than those not exposed.

Concepts: September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, United 93

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BackgroundLittle is known about asthma control in adolescents who were exposed to the World Trade Center (WTC) attacks of 9/11/2001 and diagnosed with asthma after 9/11. This report examines asthma and asthma control 10-11 years after 9/11 among exposed adolescents.MethodsThe WTC Health Registry adolescent Wave 3 survey (2011-2012) collected data on asthma diagnosed by a physician after 9/11/2001, extent of asthma control based on modified National Asthma Education and Prevention Program criteria, probable mental health conditions, and behavior problems. Parents reported healthcare needs and 9/11-exposures. Logistic regression was used to evaluate associations between asthma and level of asthma control and 9/11-exposure, mental health and behavioral problems, and unmet healthcare needs.ResultsPoorly/very poorly controlled asthma was significantly associated with a household income of ≤$75,000 (AOR: 3.0; 95% CI: 1.1-8.8), having unmet healthcare needs (AOR: 6.2; 95% CI: 1.4-27.1), and screening positive for at least one mental health condition (AOR: 5.0; 95% CI: 1.4-17.7), but not with behavioral problems. The impact of having at least one mental health condition on the level of asthma control was substantially greater in females than in males.ConclusionsComprehensive care of post-9/11 asthma in adolescents should include management of mental health-related comorbidities.

Concepts: September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, Lower Manhattan, United 93, Al-Qaeda, 7 World Trade Center, World Trade Center site, National September 11 Memorial & Museum

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The World Trade Center (WTC) collapse generated caustic airborne particulates that caused chronic rhinosinusitis in exposed fire department of New York (FDNY) firefighters. Surgery was performed when symptoms remained uncontrolled despite medical management.

Concepts: New York City, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Lower Manhattan, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, American Airlines Flight 11

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To determine whether lung function trajectories after 9/11/2001 (9/11) differed by sex or race/ethnicity in World Trade Center-exposed Fire Department of the City of New York emergency medical service (EMS) workers.

Concepts: New York City, Emergency medical services, London, Toronto, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, Lower Manhattan, Staten Island

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We previously reported a modest excess of cancer in World Trade Center (WTC)-exposed firefighters versus the general population. This study aimed to separate the potential carcinogenic effects of firefighting and WTC exposure by comparing to a cohort of non-WTC-exposed firefighters.

Concepts: New York City, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Manhattan, Lower Manhattan, Port Authority Trans-Hudson, Wall Street