Navigation Links
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds

Experts cite smoke, eating habits and sleep patterns as potential causes,,

FRIDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Burning buildings might not be the only risks that firefighters face. They also appear to be more likely than their peers in other professions to have prematurely narrowed arteries, increasing their risk for strokes and heart attacks, according to a new study.

In fact, 22 percent of a group of 77 firefighters studied by researchers at the University of Kansas averaged 39 years old but had the blood vessels of 52-year-olds because of significant plaque buildup in their carotid arteries.

"These men, as young as they are, for some reason have a high rate of early development of vascular disease, asymptomatic as it is," said Dr. Patrick Moriarty, director of the Atherosclerosis and LDL Apheresis Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center and the study's lead researcher. "What it means is that we have to find a way to make their job have less risk potential in terms of less cardiovascular risk."

The findings were presented March 12 at the American Heart Association's conference on cardiovascular disease in Palm Harbor, Fla.

The demands of firefighters' jobs and their health needs often conflict, Moriarty explained. The stress of being on call for 48 hours, for instance, takes a toll on the body, he said. And, in addition, firefighters need high-calorie meals because, if they have to quickly leave to fight a fire, they might not have another meal for 24 hours, Moriarty said.

Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, a professor of medicine and associate chief of the cardiology division at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that exposure to small particulate matter in smoke that occurs at fires also is harmful. Smoke, he said, provokes inflammation, which is associated with heart disease and stroke.

Also, many firefighters sleep during the day and work at night, which might be a problem because "there is some data about night workers having premature atherosclerotic events," Fonarow said. Atherosclerosis occurs when cardiovascular arteries thicken and the space for blood flow narrows.

Moriarty said that his interest in the cardiovascular risks for firefighters stemmed from having treated a number of them at clinic. Background information in his study noted that cardiovascular disease has been associated with 45 percent of the on-duty deaths of firefighters in the United States, compared with 36 percent for other lines of work. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has reported that sudden cardiac deaths are the leading cause of death in the line of duty for firefighters.

For the study, Moriarty's research team used sonography to measure lipid levels in the firefighters' carotid arteries. The study described the 77 firefighters as young, with a low prevalence of cardiovascular disease and the risk factors associated with it. But, they had "more advanced atherosclerosis than a non-firefighting population of similar age gender and race," the researchers wrote.

Fonarow said that he would like to see the study replicated by another lab with a similar group of firefighters. The 13-year difference between the average chronological age of the group and the average age of the carotid arteries is large, he said, and could have important consequences for cardiovascular health.

When there is only a 10-year difference, there is a substantial risk of cardiovascular events, Fonarow said, and "the risk of heart attack and stroke rises substantially with each additional 10 years of life."

On the Web

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more on atherosclerosis.

SOURCES: Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor of medicine, and associate chief, division of cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Patrick M. Moriarty, M.D., director, Atherosclerosis and LDL Apheresis Center, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.; presentation, American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, March 12, 2009, Palm Harbor, Fla.

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New Vitamin Targets Health Needs of Firefighters
2. Washington Fire Firefighters Launch First of Its Kind Pilot Program on Health and Fitness
3. Cantimer, Inc. Awarded $996,000 Contract from U.S. Government to Develop Portable, Real-Time and Non-Invasive Hydration Measurement and Monitoring System for Use by Firefighters
4. Firefighters May Face Higher Risk of Bladder Cancer
5. Fit to fight: $1 million grant to focus on firefighters health
6. MSAs Next-Generation Breathing Apparatus for Firefighters First to Receive Full NFPA Approval
7. Drugs Before Stents for Stable Heart Disease, Study Says
8. New Study Shows Probiotic Strain Effective in Boosting Immune Response
9. Studying the female form
10. Aspirin improves survival in women with stable heart disease, according to WHI study
11. New Study Finds PFOA Levels in Drinking Water Are Safe
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... During the National ... caregivers and held two webinars on topics of ‘Medical and Palliative Care Decisions,’ ... at . , With a loved one's diagnosis of mesothelioma, the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... . The directory is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. ... competent and trustworthy alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an effort ... the Word of Life Christian Church of Flint, MI, hosted a family-oriented evening ... 1.25 ton pile of candy dubbed “Candy Mountain”. , A Forever Recovery, a ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... VA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Foundation kicked off its annual fundraising campaign to raise funds for its research, ... raises approximately 10% of the organization’s annual funding. , The Mesothelioma Applied Research ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The ... in Dallas, TX, on January 29 and 30, 2016. The course welcomes dental ... of their practices, to learn how to better succeed in the modern dental ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... the Detroit Free Press as a Top Workplace , ... to work for in 2015. ... 100 winners annually, based on employee surveys rating company leadership, ... Workplaces are based solely on employee feedback. The survey is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 global cell ... of US$6.1 bn to US$11.3 bn by 2022 at a CAGR ... is expected to grow from its 2013 value of US$6.1 bn ... --> Transparency Market Research has announced the release of ... According to the report, titled ,Cell Culture Market - Global Industry ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... and BOCA RATON, Fla. , ... the Commercialization of Public Research (the Institute) announced ... KynderMed , a medical device start-up company with ... new company creation based on publicly-funded research, and bridges ... Florida -based universities and research institutions. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: