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Hard on the Heart: 9/11 and Cardiovascular Disease

The events of September 11, 2001, broke the heart of America. The injury and pain of that day remain with us still. A recent study supports a link between the events of 9/11, post-traumatic stress and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. 

From witnessing or participating in a frightening or dangerous event, many people suffer entrenched anxiety known as post-traumatic stress disorder. For those present on 9/11, a study from the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Registry provided findings that include the following: 

  • Workers and emergency responders on 9/11 sites are at higher risk for cardiovascular events. These events can include heart disease and heart attack.
  • Male recovery or rescue workers are 82% more likely to suffer cardiovascular risk than those with more limited exposure to the 9/11 sites.
  • Women and men who reported suffering PTSD at the time of enrollment in the WTC Health Registry were statistically more likely to suffer a stroke or other serious cardiovascular event.
  • Results of the study lead to greater questions about the role of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in cardiovascular disease. 

Earlier research by the WTC Health Program also suggested a link between post-traumatic stress and cardiovascular problems among those who experienced 9/11 firsthand. 

Research to further explore the mediating nature of PTSD and cardiovascular events is essential. Continued study may uncover genetic or other biomarkers that help us understand the connection between stress and serious illness. The information could be lifesaving for those injured on 9/11 who continue to suffer. 

The pain of September 11, 2001, continues into the future. If you have questions about medical benefits or compensation claims, talk to an experienced attorney in New York City for answers.

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