Asthma and posttraumatic stress symptoms 5 to 6 years following exposure to the World Trade Center terrorist attack

JAMA : the Journal of the American Medical Association
Robert M BrackbillLorna E Thorpe


The World Trade Center Health Registry provides a unique opportunity to examine long-term health effects of a large-scale disaster. To examine risk factors for new asthma diagnoses and event-related posttraumatic stress (PTS) symptoms among exposed adults 5 to 6 years following exposure to the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center (WTC) terrorist attack. Longitudinal cohort study with wave 1 (W1) enrollment of 71,437 adults in 2003-2004, including rescue/recovery worker, lower Manhattan resident, lower Manhattan office worker, and passersby eligibility groups; 46,322 adults (68%) completed the wave 2 (W2) survey in 2006-2007. Self-reported diagnosed asthma following September 11; event-related current PTS symptoms indicative of probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), assessed using the PTSD Checklist (cutoff score > or = 44). Of W2 participants with no stated asthma history, 10.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.9%-10.5%) reported new asthma diagnoses postevent. Intense dust cloud exposure on September 11 was a major contributor to new asthma diagnoses for all eligibility groups: for example, 19.1% vs 9.6% in those without exposure among rescue/recovery workers (adjusted odds ratio, 1.5 [95% CI, 1.4-1.7]). Asthma risk ...Continue Reading


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