WTC: PTSD, asthma still persist

Sept. 10, 2008 at 4:17 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- More than 400,000 people in New York City were heavily exposed to the events at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, researchers said.

The report, released by the New York City health department and published in the Journal of Urban Health, suggests that 35,000 to 70,000 people developed post-traumatic stress disorder and 3,800 to 12,600 people may have developed asthma, the new analysis said.

The new analysis examines health effects among all 71,437 participants of the World Trade Center Health Registry -- an estimated 17.4 percent of the people exposed to the disaster.

Overall, half of the registrants reported being in the dust cloud from the collapsing towers; 70 percent witnessed a traumatic sight, such as a plane hitting the tower; and 13 percent sustained an injury that day. The survey also found that, two to three years after these experiences, 3 percent of all adult enrollees reported they had developed new asthma, 16 percent likely had PTSD and 8 percent had severe psychological distress. The rate of new asthma was highest -- 6 percent -- among rescue and recovery workers who worked on the debris pile at Ground Zero.

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