Navigation Links
Heart Disease: An Epidemic For Firefighters
Date:3/17/2009

Landmark FEMA Study Results Released

ATLANTA, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- H. Robert Superko, MD, principal investigator in the landmark FEMA-sponsored study of firefighters aged 40 and over conducted at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, released preliminary findings in the world's first study of first responders at risk of suffering sudden death or other significant cardiac events. Firefighters are known to have a three hundred percent increased risk for cardiac disease as compared to other segments of the population.

"Preliminary findings show that one third of firefighters had heart disease that is unrelated to traditional risk factors, such as high cholesterol," says Dr. Superko. "Those results are astounding and point at job duties and environment as the primary determinants for early death in our country's first responders."

Dr. Superko, recognized as a leading expert on lipids, cholesterol and advanced metabolic markets and their contribution to heart disease, and his team performed a comprehensive, scientific battery of sophisticated blood and imaging tests on three hundred firefighters in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Gwinnett County first responders were identified for the study following an emotional report by Fire Chief Steve Rolader, following the sudden death of one of his firefighters from cardiac arrest while fighting a house fire.

"This wasn't the first firefighter in my department to die but I wanted to do something to make it among the last," says Chief Rolader. "This man was 53 years old, in great physical shape and he had no known symptoms of heart disease. We also had lost several newly-retired firefighters to sudden cardiac death. There had to be a way to stop it."

Study volunteers underwent a comprehensive genetic screen of more than a million genes including newly identified KIF6 (statin responsiveness gene) and 9p21 (myocardial infarction gene), advanced phenotype (blood) and imaging analyses, diet and exercise review over the year-long study. Results and explanations were presented to the groups followed by individual consultations. Complete statistical and comprehensive genetics results are expected this year.

According to Dr. Superko, stress and psychological pressures related to the job, as well as diet, exercise issues and inherent personality, interacting with a genetic predisposition to heart disease, probably have tremendous impact on the risk of heart attack in these first responders.

"Imagine being awakened from a dead sleep by a loud, shrieking siren several times during the night, responding through the rush of adrenaline, carrying a hundred pounds of equipment on your back, and meeting people at the very worst possible moments in their lives every day and you can begin to understand the toll it takes on the first responders," says Superko. "And, consider the emotional and psychological stress they encounter each day as they respond to society's most brutal moments from murders to car wrecks and death. Finally, those who serve as first responders have a mind-set and a desire to help people. They certainly bring a competitive nature to the job but also a profound desire to help and to do the best for others. All these elements create an environment that puts them at an increased risk for cardiac disease."

In response to the growing awareness to issues of diet and exercise, Gwinnett Fire Department has instituted exercise programs within local firehouses and the county now re-reimburses for fitness club memberships. The department also educates firefighters on proper diet and nutrition with one-on-one opportunities as well as "lunch and learn' programs in the station houses. And, over the years, the traditional firehouse alarm in Gwinnett stations has been replaced with softer alarms and even-voiced prompts to awaken sleeping first responders.

As a result of the study, Saint Joseph's Hospital and Dr. Superko's team implemented a two month screening program for all Atlanta first responders (firefighters, Police and EMS) regardless of age in order to provide them with some basic and advanced diagnostic tests at prices affordable to firefighters.. Several physicians are providing their services free of charge.

"There are tremendous costs associated with early deaths of our first responders in every community as we lose men and women in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are our first line of defense but who don't live to perform their jobs for very long," says Chief Rolader. "With the results of this study, we can implement programs across the country that will save lives."

Final results are expected to be submitted for presentation consideration at the annual American Heart Association meeting.

    Lynn Peterson
    Manager, Media Relations
    Office: (404) 851-5849
    Pager: (404) 722-4355
    lpeterson@sjha.org


'/>"/>
SOURCE Saint Joseph's Hospital
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Thoratec Announces HeartMate II(R) PMA Will be Reviewed by FDA Advisory Panel
2. ATS Medical Expands Open Pivot Heart Valve Offerings
3. Cardicas C-Port(R) Flex A Anastomosis System Allows Surgeons to Perform Revolutionary Closed-Chest Heart Bypass Surgeries
4. Signalifes Dr. Harmison Launches Award-Winning Ambulatory Heart Monitor
5. Cleveland Clinic-Led Research Uncovers New Mechanism That Heightens Risk of Heart Disease
6. New Licence for Cubicin(R) (daptomycin), the First in a Novel Class of Antibiotic, is Announced Today for the Treatment of Serious Bloodstream and Heart Infections Caused by the Most Problematic UK Organisms, Including MRSA
7. Panel to Discuss the Far-Ranging Effects and Consequences of Heart Disease, Which is the Leading Killer in Both Men and Women in the United States
8. Cheetah Medicals NICOM Non-Invasive Cardiac Output Monitor Featured in a Presentation at the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) Annual Meeting
9. New Study Shows Promise for Hydrogen Sulfide in Reducing Heart-Attack Damage, Ikaria Announces
10. Americas Heartland Launches Third Season Highlighting Contributions of American Farmers and Ranchers
11. CV Therapeutics Announces Presentations at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2007
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A new study published in Fertility and ... in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched cohort study ... comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the authors of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... City Science Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives ... the award for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by ... Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... At ... announced Dr. Christopher Stubbs, a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, ... Stubbs was a member of the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... NEW YORK , March 30, 2017 ... by type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, ... recognition, voice recognition, and others), by end use industry ... travel and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and ... Europe , Asia Pacific ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services ... Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage ... Model sm . In addition, CHS previously earned ... hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... high level of EMR usage in an outpatient ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):