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Researchers Screen 9/11 Survivors for Heart and Kidney Diseases

The attacks of September 11 left a black eye on the city of New York, with many of its heroic first responders and recovery workers suffering from devastating health effects in the years that followed. While it has been well over a decade since the towers fell, many who were present on that fateful day are still grappling with health problems.

Since 9/11, more than 2,300 firefighters and other rescue workers in New York City have been diagnosed with respiratory diseases linked to their exposure to toxic fumes and dust. The most recent illnesses linked by NIOSH have been 64 cancers.  Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital, which has been a leader in treating 9/11 survivors, have recently discovered two more health effects: heart and kidney disease.  We expect that Sarcoidosis will soon be recognized as well.

As the population of first responders ages, it can be difficult to determine whether any health problems among them are related to the attacks or simple old age. However, if the researchers can demonstrate a causal connection between 9/11 exposure and kidney and heart diseases, they will be better able to make a case for the problems being 9/11-related. This has very real effects for victims who would then be eligible to apply for benefits through the Victim Compensation Fund.

Researchers are not yet able to definitely link exposure and these diseases, but preliminary reports suggest there is one. One prevalent symptom among first responders is higher levels of protein in their urine. This condition is known as microalbuminuria and is commonly linked to heart diseases. Health officials will continue to study and screen for these diseases among survivors.

If you are suffering from a disease or illness related to your experience on or immediately after 9/11, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak with a skilled New York injury attorney at Barasch, McGarry Salzman & Penson right away.

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