213219 Current Health Status of Persons Injured in the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 1:18 PM

Robert Brackbill, PhD, MPH , World Trade Center Health Registry, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Youn Shim, PhD , Division of Health Studies, ATSDR, Atlanta, GA
Osahan Sukhminder, PhD , Wtchr, NYC DOHMH, New York, NY
Steven Stellman, PhD MPH , World Trade Center Health Registry, New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY
Background/Objectives: The September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) exposed hundreds of thousands of persons to potential injury resulting from evacuation from high rise buildings, falling debris, and dust/debris cloud from collapsing towers. We describe the current health status of persons injured on 9/11, and identify exposures related to 9/11 and social and psychological factors related to impairment at follow-up.

Methods: The WTC 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 first follow-up survey (November, 2006-December, 2007). We conducted descriptive and multivariable analyses to assess the current health status of persons injured on 9/11/01.

Results: Of the 71,437 individuals enrolled in the WTCHR, 9,177 (12.8%) responded that they were injured as a result of WTC attack on 9/11/01, including sprain/strain (57.5%), cuts/abrasions/puncture wounds (53.1%), fracture/dislocation (6.3%), and concussion (4.6%). The rescue/recovery/cleanup workers (15%), R/R/C who worked on the WTC pile on 9/11 (25%), and individuals exposed to the dust/debris cloud (19.3%) were most likely to report an injury. In the first follow-up, 66.6% (6,110) of the injured and 64.2% (39,940) of the uninjured participated. Among the injured, 37.2% screened positive for probable PTSD vs. 16.0% for the uninjured (p<0.001); disability and inability to work were more frequently reported among the injured (10.5% vs. 3.5%, p<0.001).

Conclusions/Implications: Persons injured on 9/11 continue to report high levels of psychological and physical impairment 5 to 6 years after the disaster. Continued surveillance is needed.

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

Keywords: Injury, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted research upon which this abstract is based.
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.