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  By the NYC Health Commissioner
  9/11-Affected People
  Healthcare Professionals

9/11 Health - News and Events - 9-11 Worker Protection Task Force Interim Report

New Registry Study Links Respiratory Illness & PTSD in WTC Survivors

A WTC Health Registry study published online in the American Journal of Public Health linked for the first time lower respiratory symptoms and probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in WTC survivors 5 to 6 years later. The study examined the more than 16,000 adult enrollees in the Registry who lived or worked in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001 and also includes passers-by. Studies of WTC rescue and recovery workers have found a similar link.

More than 1 in 4 of those survivors who had either lower respiratory symptoms or probable PTSD when surveyed in 2006-2007 reported that they had both conditions, according to the study. Those with more severe WTC exposure were most likely to report both conditions.

Regardless of their 9/11 exposure level, survivors with lower respiratory symptoms (LRS) had 4 times the odds of probable PTSD than those without LRS. Similarly, survivors with probable PTSD were 4 times more likely to have LRS than those without it. The group with both LRS and PTSD were 6 to 10 times more likely to report “fair” or “poor” general health and at least 14 days of “poor” physical and mental health and loss of activity during the previous month compared to survivors with neither condition.

As part of its continued federal funding, the Registry’s Treatment Referral Project will actively encourage all enrollees with 9/11-related illness to seek the integrated physical and mental health care for which they are eligible through the WTC Health Program.


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