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Mount Sinai researchers are the first to identify heart abnormalities in World Trade Center workers
Date:3/16/2010

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine are presenting more than 20 ground-breaking studies at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 59th annual scientific session (ACC.10) in Atlanta. Their research includes data showing that the World Trade Center (WTC) collapse has caused potentially dangerous heart problems in responders on-site.

Jacqueline Moline, MD, Vice Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine leads The World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program. The Program provided federal funding for two WTC heart studies, of which Dr. Moline is the primary investigator. Lori Croft, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD, Associate Professor, Medicine and Cardiology, conducted the analyses of 1,236 workers who participated in the program from January 2008 to June 2009.

Dr. Croft's study, "First Documentation of Cardiac Dysfunction Following Exposure to the World Trade Center Disaster," showed that responders have impaired diastolic function of both the right and left ventricle, meaning their hearts do not relax normally, which can put them at risk for heart problems such as shortness of breath and heart failure. More than 50 percent had abnormal relaxation of the left ventricle compared to only seven percent of people of a similar age in the general population. Greater than 60 percent had isolated impaired diastolic function in the right ventricle of the heart, which pumps blood to the lungs.

Dr. Croft and her colleagues suspect that debris inhaled from the WTC site may have contributed to these heart abnormalities, however, caution that there is no comparison data of people working in a similar urban community plagued by air pollution and life and emotional stresses who were not exposed to the WTC.

"We know that inhaled debris may be linked to heart and lung disease," said Dr. Croft. "While we still have work to do in determining a definitive con
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Contact: Mount Sinai Press Office
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The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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