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WTC Health Registry: What Is It?

The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Registry tracks the health of more than 71,000 people exposed to the WTC terrorist attacks. What are the goals of the registry and what have we learned so far? 

Patient registries are databases that follow the health of a defined group of patients over time. Registries help healthcare providers, patients and researchers understand disease development by gathering clinical, psychological and other information from a patient group. 

The WTC Health Registry is the largest disaster-related public health registry in the history of United States. Originally established by the New York Department of Health, the registry has been funded since 2009 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 

Interesting facts from the registry include the following: 

  • Individuals exposed to the WTC and other terrorist attack sites voluntarily enrolled in the program between 2003 and 2004. To enroll, members participated in an approximately 30-minute telephone call.
  • Members of the registry live in 15 countries and in every state in the union.
  • The duration of the registry is expected to be 20 years.
  • Although the initial cancer analysis performed by the registry did not show an overall increase in cancers among those exposed to 9/11 sites, it did find an increase in three types of cancers among responders. Those cancers include prostate, thyroid and multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells.
  • Six to seven years following the disaster, young children were more likely to have respiratory symptoms. Correspondingly, adolescents were more likely to report behavioral problems than those not exposed to WTC sites.
  • A study of approximately 3,000 police officers found the affects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were reduced among those who had larger personal support networks.

The terrorist attacks on United States changed life in our country on an individual and cultural level. This registry memorializes those physical, personal and psychological changes. If you have questions about health benefits or a compensation claim to the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund, speak with a skilled attorney in New York City.

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