-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Health problems linked to
the World Trade Center attacks may be spurring an increase in
retirements for New York City firefighters, a new study
As a result of the disability retirements related to the
attacks, the FDNY pension system is also dealing with increased
costs of $826 million, according to the study, which appeared
recently in the
American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
"It is clear that the WTC attack has had an enormous impact on the health of the FDNY workforce and, as a consequence, its pension system," study leader Dr. David J. Prezant, chief medical officer of the FDNY, said in a journal news release.
"Human suffering cannot be measured in dollars alone but does serve as a reminder that recovery efforts, when rescue is no longer possible, should be carried out with special attention to the preservation of health for the responders," he noted.
In the study, Prezant's team looked at the almost 7,800
firefighters who retired from the city's fire department between
Sept. 11, 1994 and Sept. 10, 2008, so that they could compare the
number of retirements and disability retirements seven years before
and seven years after the WTC attacks.
There were 3,261 retirements in the seven years before 9/11 and
1,571 (48 percent) of them were disability retirements, the study
found. There were 4,502 retirements in the seven years after 9/11
and 2,970 (66 percent) were disability retirements, of which 1,402
(47 percent) were associated with WTC-related injuries or
The increase in disability-linked retirements in the years after
9/11, which led to the retirement of about 10 percent of the FDNY
workforce, was mostly due to respiratory-related illnesses, the
The New York State Department of Health outlines
WTC health information and studies.
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