The first long-term [removed]study[/removed] of the health impacts of the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001 shows that substantial and persistent physical and mental health problems exist among 9/11 first responders and recovery workers. The findings appear in a special 9/11 issue of The Lancet.

The Mount Sinai World Trade Center Clinical Center of Excellence and Data Center evaluated more than 27,000 police officers, construction workers, firefighters, and municipal workers over the 9 years following 9/11 and found a high incidence of several conditions, including asthma, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression. More than one in five of all the responders studied had multiple physical and/or mental problems.

The results showed that 28% of patients had asthma, while 42% had abnormal lung function tests, indicative of lung injury. Almost 10% of rescue and recovery workers had asthma, sinusitis, and GERD simultaneously. Additionally, 48% of rescue workers with asthma, 38% with sinusitis, and 43% with GERD were also diagnosed with at least one mental health condition.

“Several studies have evaluated the health impacts of 9/11, but this is the first long-term study to demonstrate the lasting burden of disease experienced by the brave men and women who responded in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center,” said Juan Wisnivesky, MD, DrPH, vice chair for research in the department of medicine at Mount Sinai and lead author of the study. “Our findings underscore the importance of long-term monitoring and treatment of the rescue and recovery worker population.”

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine