213198 Diagnosed Asthma among Persons Exposed to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:42 PM

Steven Stellman, PhD MPH , World Trade Center Health Registry, New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Robert Brackbill, PhD, MPH , World Trade Center Health Registry, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
James Hadler, MD , Retired State Epidemiologist, New Haven, CT
Christine C. Ekenga, PhD, MPH , Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Mark R. Farfel, ScD , World Trade Center Health Registry, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Stephen Friedman, MD , Wtchr, NYC DOHMH, New York, NY
Lorna Thorpe, PhD , Director, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program, CUNY School of Public Health - Hunter College, New York, NY
Background: The objective of this study is to characterize and examine risk factors for new asthma diagnoses among highly exposed adults 5-6 years post-attack.

Methods: The World Trade Center Health Registry (WTCHR) contains data on a longitudinal cohort with baseline enrollment of 71,437 individuals (September, 2003-November, 2004); 46,322 adults (68%) completed the adult follow-up survey (November, 2006-December, 2007). We conducted descriptive and multivariable analyses to assess the impact of exposures associated with 9/11 on self-reported diagnosed asthma post-9/11.

Results: 10.1% of follow-up participants with no asthma history reported new asthma diagnoses post-9/11; highest rates were in the first 16 months. Intense dust cloud exposure on 9/11 was a major contributor to new reported asthma diagnoses for all eligibility groups (adjusted odds ratios [aORs], 1.4-1.5). Asthma risk was highest among rescue/recovery workers working on the WTC pile on 9/11 (12.2%, aOR, 2.2, 95% confidence interval, 1.9-2.6). Prolonged risk exposures included working longer at the WTC site, not evacuating homes, and experiencing a heavy layer of dust in one's home or office. Conclusions: Both acute and prolonged exposures resulted in a large burden of asthma 5-6 years after 9/11. Continued surveillance, outreach and treatment are needed to mitigate the burden and inform long-term disaster response planning.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the World Trade Center Health Registry. Identify 9/11 associated environmental exposures associated with post 9/11 diagnosed asthma. Discuss the importance of long-term surveillance of physical health effects from a major environmental exposure.

Keywords: Asthma, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I co-authored the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.