May 27, 2014 – Firefighters and Heart Disease

May 23, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: FIREFIGHTERS SUFFER A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF HEART DISEASE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Firefighters are at much greater risk of developing and dying from cardiovascular disease at a younger age than those of us in more mainstream occupations, and better imaging may help the problem, a study by Elizabeth Ratchford and colleagues at Johns Hopkins has shown.

RATCHFORD:Firefighters have a huge increased risk of heart disease compared to non-firefighters and that’s true of a lot of emergency responders.  Forty-five percent of the deaths among firefighters are due to cardiovascular disease compared to 15% in regular jobs. Part of it we are theorizing is related to the occupational exposure, some of it has to do with lifestyle, the spaghetti in the firehouse, and clearly based on our findings in the study the rates of obesity and metabolic syndrome and bad-looking profiles overall are prevalent among the firefighters.   :31

Ratchford says coronary calcium scans and targeted interventions can keep many firefighters on the job.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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