The overall goal of this two-year project is to calculate the incidence of selected systemic autoimmune diseases (SAID) in 21,786 World Trade Center (WTC)-exposed and unexposed firefighters and emergency medical service workers and to estimate the association between intense WTC exposure and SAID. This proposal originates from the WTC Program at the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY), where investigators have full access to FDNY monitoring and treatment records, excellent cohort retention rates, demonstrated ability to contact members, and accurate estimates of person-time at risk from employment records. The following SAID diagnoses will be included: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), systemic sclerosis (SSc;both diffuse and limited), inflammatory myositis (dermatomyositis, polymyositis, or inclusion-body myositis), Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and non-RA inflammatory arthritis (i.e., psoriatic arthritis and spondyloarthritis). There have been no epidemiologic studies of SAID incidence in WTC-exposed cohorts. WTC- related SAID has arisen as a concern because previous studies of non-WTC exposed workers have demonstrated increased risk after exposure to silica, dusts and chemicals, many of which were known to have been present at the WTC disaster site. Further, clinical observation of some cases triggered a preliminary record review through which we have confirmed 31 post-9/11 cases, and identified 282 potential cases requiring further review. Based on the health of the FDNY cohort and their demographic characteristics (mostly male), we would have expected fewer cases than already observed.
The specific aims of this proposal are to:
Aim 1 : Estimate the incidence of confirmed cases of SAID in the FDNY population from 9/11/2001 until 9/10/2013;
and Aim 2 : Perform a nested case-control study to estimate the effect size of WTC exposure on confirmed cases of all subtypes of SAID combined

Public Health Relevance

The overall goal of this two-year project is to calculate the incidence of selected systemic autoimmune diseases (SAID) in 21,786 World Trade Center (WTC)-exposed and unexposed firefighters and emergency medical service workers and to estimate the association between intense WTC exposure and SAID. This proposal is consistent with the federal WTC health program mandate advocating surveillance studies to determine the likelihood that additional WTC related diseases exist. If results suggest that SAID are increased in relation to WTC exposure, the FDNY WTCHP would petition the federal administrator to add SAID as WTC coverable conditions. FDNY and other centers of excellence could then incorporate active case finding into routine monitoring visits, facilitating early detection and treatment, which has been shown to reduce end-organ damage and improve quality of life.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Type
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
Project #
1U01OH010513-01
Application #
8589272
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZOH1-NXT (50))
Program Officer
Kubale, Travis
Project Start
2013-07-01
Project End
2015-06-30
Budget Start
2013-07-01
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$322,238
Indirect Cost
$129,281
Name
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
110521739
City
Bronx
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10461