Metabolic syndrome + WTC dust = hurt lungs

Nov. 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Metabolic syndrome biomarkers predict subsequent decline in lung function after exposure to World Trade Center dust, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Anna Nolan, assistant professor at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said the study involved 327 non-smoking Fire Department-of-New York Sept. 11, 2001, rescue workers. Metabolic syndrome biomarkers measured within six months of exposure to WTC dust predicted decline of forced expiratory volume in one second expiratory volume in 1 second over the next six years.

"Study participants with dyslipidemia -- an abnormal amount of cholesterol and/or fat in the blood -- elevated heart rate or elevated leptin (hormone) levels had a significantly increased risk of developing abnormal lung function during follow-up," Nolan said in a statement. "In contrast, elevated amylin -- a hormone secreted by pancreais at the same time as insulin -- levels reduced the risk of developing abnormal forced expiratory volume in one second levels."

All 109 subjects had normal lung function prior to Sept. 11, 2001. Cases were defined as having expiratory volume in 1 second values below the lower limit of normal at follow-up, while 218 controls were defined as having expiratory volume in one second at or above the lower limit of normal.

The findings, published online ahead of print publication in the Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, found biomarkers were available for 71 cases and 166 controls. Lung function in cases continually declined in the median 28 months between baseline and follow-up examinations, while lung function improved in controls, the study said.

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