Risk factors for post-9/11 chronic rhinosinusitis in Fire Department of the City of New York workers

Barbara Putman, Rachel Zeig-Owens, Ankura Singh, Charles B. Hall, Theresa Schwartz, Mayris P. Webber, Hillel W. Cohen, David J. Prezant, Claus Bachert, Michael D. Weiden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has high socioeconomic burden but underexplored risk factors. The collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers on 11 September 2001 (9/11) caused dust and smoke exposure, leading to paranasal sinus inflammation and CRS. We aim to determine which job tasks are risk factors for CRS in WTC-exposed Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) workers. Methods: This cohort study included a 16-year follow-up of 11 926 WTC-exposed FDNY rescue/recovery workers with data on demographics, WTC exposure, job tasks and first post-9/11 complete blood counts. Using multivariable Cox regression, we assessed the associations of WTC exposure, work assignment (firefighter/EMS), digging and rescue tasks at the WTC site and blood eosinophil counts with subsequent CRS, adjusting for potential confounders. Results: The rate of CRS was higher in firefighters than EMS (1.80/100 person-years vs 0.70/100 person-years; p<0.001). The combination of digging and rescue work was a risk factor for CRS (HR 1.54, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.94, p<0.001) independent of work assignment and WTC exposure. Conclusions: Compared with EMS, firefighters were more likely to engage in a combination of digging and rescue work, which was a risk factor for CRS. Chronic irritant exposures associated with digging and rescue work may account for higher post-9/11 CRS rates among firefighters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Firefighters
Rescue Work
Emergency Medical Services
Blood Cell Count
Irritants
Paranasal Sinuses
Dust
Eosinophils
Smoke
Cohort Studies
Demography
Inflammation

Keywords

  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • longitudinal studies
  • occupational exposure
  • World Trade Center disaster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Risk factors for post-9/11 chronic rhinosinusitis in Fire Department of the City of New York workers. / Putman, Barbara; Zeig-Owens, Rachel; Singh, Ankura; Hall, Charles B.; Schwartz, Theresa; Webber, Mayris P.; Cohen, Hillel W.; Prezant, David J.; Bachert, Claus; Weiden, Michael D.

In: Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Putman, Barbara ; Zeig-Owens, Rachel ; Singh, Ankura ; Hall, Charles B. ; Schwartz, Theresa ; Webber, Mayris P. ; Cohen, Hillel W. ; Prezant, David J. ; Bachert, Claus ; Weiden, Michael D. / Risk factors for post-9/11 chronic rhinosinusitis in Fire Department of the City of New York workers. In: Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2018.
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abstract = "Objectives: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has high socioeconomic burden but underexplored risk factors. The collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers on 11 September 2001 (9/11) caused dust and smoke exposure, leading to paranasal sinus inflammation and CRS. We aim to determine which job tasks are risk factors for CRS in WTC-exposed Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) workers. Methods: This cohort study included a 16-year follow-up of 11 926 WTC-exposed FDNY rescue/recovery workers with data on demographics, WTC exposure, job tasks and first post-9/11 complete blood counts. Using multivariable Cox regression, we assessed the associations of WTC exposure, work assignment (firefighter/EMS), digging and rescue tasks at the WTC site and blood eosinophil counts with subsequent CRS, adjusting for potential confounders. Results: The rate of CRS was higher in firefighters than EMS (1.80/100 person-years vs 0.70/100 person-years; p<0.001). The combination of digging and rescue work was a risk factor for CRS (HR 1.54, 95{\%} CI 1.23 to 1.94, p<0.001) independent of work assignment and WTC exposure. Conclusions: Compared with EMS, firefighters were more likely to engage in a combination of digging and rescue work, which was a risk factor for CRS. Chronic irritant exposures associated with digging and rescue work may account for higher post-9/11 CRS rates among firefighters.",
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AU - Schwartz, Theresa

AU - Webber, Mayris P.

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N2 - Objectives: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has high socioeconomic burden but underexplored risk factors. The collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers on 11 September 2001 (9/11) caused dust and smoke exposure, leading to paranasal sinus inflammation and CRS. We aim to determine which job tasks are risk factors for CRS in WTC-exposed Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) workers. Methods: This cohort study included a 16-year follow-up of 11 926 WTC-exposed FDNY rescue/recovery workers with data on demographics, WTC exposure, job tasks and first post-9/11 complete blood counts. Using multivariable Cox regression, we assessed the associations of WTC exposure, work assignment (firefighter/EMS), digging and rescue tasks at the WTC site and blood eosinophil counts with subsequent CRS, adjusting for potential confounders. Results: The rate of CRS was higher in firefighters than EMS (1.80/100 person-years vs 0.70/100 person-years; p<0.001). The combination of digging and rescue work was a risk factor for CRS (HR 1.54, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.94, p<0.001) independent of work assignment and WTC exposure. Conclusions: Compared with EMS, firefighters were more likely to engage in a combination of digging and rescue work, which was a risk factor for CRS. Chronic irritant exposures associated with digging and rescue work may account for higher post-9/11 CRS rates among firefighters.

AB - Objectives: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) has high socioeconomic burden but underexplored risk factors. The collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers on 11 September 2001 (9/11) caused dust and smoke exposure, leading to paranasal sinus inflammation and CRS. We aim to determine which job tasks are risk factors for CRS in WTC-exposed Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) workers. Methods: This cohort study included a 16-year follow-up of 11 926 WTC-exposed FDNY rescue/recovery workers with data on demographics, WTC exposure, job tasks and first post-9/11 complete blood counts. Using multivariable Cox regression, we assessed the associations of WTC exposure, work assignment (firefighter/EMS), digging and rescue tasks at the WTC site and blood eosinophil counts with subsequent CRS, adjusting for potential confounders. Results: The rate of CRS was higher in firefighters than EMS (1.80/100 person-years vs 0.70/100 person-years; p<0.001). The combination of digging and rescue work was a risk factor for CRS (HR 1.54, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.94, p<0.001) independent of work assignment and WTC exposure. Conclusions: Compared with EMS, firefighters were more likely to engage in a combination of digging and rescue work, which was a risk factor for CRS. Chronic irritant exposures associated with digging and rescue work may account for higher post-9/11 CRS rates among firefighters.

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