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Human health cost continues to rise after 9/11


When the World Trade Centers were brought down ten years ago, an entire city was exposed to hazardous chemicals, environmental toxin, and traumatic events. According to new research published in Preventive Medicine, these events have brought about an increased risk of developing physical and mental health issues.

“The New York City Health Department’s volunteer and heart disease studies in this issue of Preventive Medicine reinforce the importance of tracing the long-term physical and mental health effects of 9/11 and help inform planning for future 9/11 related health care needs,” said New York City Heath Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

A study of the volunteers who helped that day shows that they are now suffering from a range of physical and mental illnesses. Those at the highest risk are people who were not affiliated with large programs like the Red Cross and therefore not prepared for the trauma in evidence at the scene. Those people were at greater risk for developing physical and mental health conditions after 9/11. The study showed a need to provide volunteers with long-term screening and treatment for 9/11-related conditions resulting from hazardous exposures.

Exposure to the dust cloud, injury or post-traumatic stress syndrome has left volunteers at a greater risk for heart disease. “This exploratory heart disease study suggests that adults who were directly exposed to the World Trade Center disaster and its aftermath have an increased risk for heart disease,” said Dr. Hannah Jordan, first author of the study. “It will be important to confirm and expand upon these findings so that appropriate steps can be taken to prevent heart disease in this population.”

Source: ScienceDaily, Preventive Medicine

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