Researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Manhattan, have received a $1.1 million grant from the World Trade Center Health Program to study the risks of kidney and heart disease among Ground Zero first-responders and volunteers exposed to the toxic dust-cloud created by the disaster 13 years ago.
Our research will determine the frequency and degree of kidney dysfunction in these patients, and examine the relationship between kidney and cardiovascular diseases among first responders to the tragedy at Ground Zero and volunteers who were there, Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD, MPH, medical director of the cardiac health program at The Mount Sinai Hospital and the studys principal investigator, said in a news release.
Responders and volunteers were exposed to varying levels of air filled with cement dust, smoke, glass fibers and heavy metals during the 9/11 tragedy at Ground Zero, the release said. Mount Sinai researchers believe high levels of exposure to the dust cloud may cause inflammation that can result in the development of chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular damage, according to the release.
We will investigate if exposure to high levels of inhaled particulate matter from 9/11 may be associated with chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular damage, McLaughlin said in the release. Our long-term goal is to identify and minimize the risks for these conditions among individuals exposed to the inhaled toxins.
McLaughlin is working on the study with Christina Wyatt, MD, associate professor of medicine, nephrology at Mount Sinai.
We anticipate this new study to have a broad impact on our understanding of the health effects of inhaled particulate matter on kidney and cardiovascular health, Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, professor and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Icahn School of Medicine, said in the release.
Landrigan oversees the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center for Excellence at Mount Sinai, a treatment and monitoring program for emergency responders, recovery workers, residents and area workers who were affected by the terrorist attacks in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
The program identifies health problems needing timely treatment, monitors the development of symptoms and analyzes data on the effects of 9/11. Located at Mount Sinai and several other clinics in the region, the centers are the result of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides $4.3 billion in federal funding to serve the health needs of the men and women impacted by the tragedy.
The WTC Health Program, administered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and part of the CDC, provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders.